Maroons thriving at No. 1

HOUGHTON – Menominee survived another talented challenger to its perch as No. 1 football team in the U.P. last Friday and appears poised to hold on to the spot for a while.

The Maroons turned their showdown with Kingsford, No. 3 in last week’s U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Division 1-7 football poll, into a rout Friday. Menominee started its first three drives from the Kingsford 42, 28 and 33 and needed just 13 plays to roll to a 21-0 lead. Devon Harris scored them all, two on the ground and one on a catch, in the first quarter. James Brown added the first of his two short rushing touchdowns in the second quarter as Menominee took a 28-0 halftime lead and a 42-13 win at Walton Blesch Field.

The Maroons remain No. 1 with three first-place votes and 23 poll points, while Ishpeming is still No. 2 with two first-place votes and 22 points. Menominee faces Escanaba Friday and won’t play a team currently sporting a winning record until the regular season finale against Marquette.

The Hematites weren’t tested nearly as much last weekend, mowing down Norway 42-8 in Mid-Peninsula Conference play Saturday. The Knights, down several players to injury, allowed four first-quarter touchdowns to make this one a laugher early.

Negaunee moved up a spot to third this week with 14 poll points. The 5-0 Miners ruined Gwinn’s Homecoming festivities, with senior running back Tyler LaJoie being the chief party pooper. LaJoie scored five touchdowns on runs from 15 to 80 yards and finished with 215 yards rushing as the Miners rolled the Modeltowners 41-6.

Negaunee hosts Norway Friday before the Week 7 showdown at the Ishpeming Playgrounds Oct. 11 that will serve as the de facto M-PC title game.

Kingsford (4-1) falls to No. 4 this week. The Flivvers have a trip to Marquette Friday.

After its dominant win over Houghton, West Iron County (5-0) remains No. 5 going into a Friday home game with Calumet.

Marquette (4-1) also received two points.

In Division 8, the nearly-annual No. 1 vs. No. 2 clash is set. Forest Park is No. 1 on four of five ballots and travels to No. 2 North Dickinson Friday.

The Trojans gained their fifth victory in a row with relative ease, dismissing last week’s No. 3, North Central. Lee Graff scored on two rushes and Austin Snell had a running and receiving TD as FP beat the Jets 35-8 in Powers, keeping the Jets off the board until the last 2:37.

North Dickinson, meanwhile, became one of the state’s first playoff qualifiers with an easy 33-8 win over Bark River-Harris. The victory gave the Nordics a 5-0 record, which with their eight-game schedule, ensured a postseason berth for a 23rd consecutive year, a state record.

St. Ignace moved up a spot to No. 3 after a 29-21 win at Sault Ste. Marie. At 224 students, LaSalle High’s enrollment is less than a quarter that of its opponents on the other end of the U.P. leg of Interstate 75.

North Central, now No. 4, faces Newberry this week, while Pickford is 4-1 after a 29-0 win over Pellston. Pickford meets St. Ignace in two weeks.

Lake Linden-Hubbell (3-2)?received a single vote.

In another little big showdown, the two teams honored all year for their eight-man football prowess, Rapid River (No. 1) and Cedarville (No. 2), meet Friday in DeTour.