Line Play Is Outstanding In Rivalry Win
Win the battle in the trenches and youll control the game.
That is exactly what the Menominee Maroons did Saturday afternoon to claim their third straight M&M win with a 42-7 throttling of visiting Marinette.
Coming off a heartbreaking 10-7 loss to Marquette a week prior, which forced a tie for GNC honors, Menominee (6-2, 3-1) took out its frustration on the Marines and dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball to cruise to the lopsided win and qualify for the Michigan playoffs.
I would say that was where the game was won. Our line play was outstanding on both sides of the ball. After a somewhat of a messy start where Marinette stuffed us, our offensive line really got down to business and controlled things. They got off the ball well, the blocking was superb and our backs ran hard, Maroon boss Ken Hofer said.
Our defensive front really played well along with the secondary...put constant pressure on Marinettes quarterback with 6 sacks. Michael Cornman had 2 sacks and it seemed like the line was in their backfield the whole game. I was really proud of the effort put forth by our young men.
Despite the slow start, Menominee jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead, 35-zip after three frames before both teams registered fourth quarter scores.
That was a big win, not only because it was the M&M game, but also qualified us for the playoffs. The pressure of making the playoffs is now over as we head into our final game of the season Saturday at Traverse City Central. They are 4-4 and well have a beast of a hike with about a 6 hour trip one way. A win next week would help out tremendously for the playoffs and possibly make us the top seed in the Division 5 region, Hofer added.
Sparked by the line play, Menominee battered the Marines (5-4, 5-3) for 372 total yards, including 323 rushing on 49 carries. Leading the Maroons was the backfield duo of Tanner Maccoux with 14 carries for 112 yards and Connor LaPlante (14-105), including scoring runs of 14 and one yard. Maccoux also completed 2 of 3 passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Most of that success on the ground goes to the Maroon blockers upfront in center Derek Reiswitz, guards Lucas Pedersen and Cameron Olsen and tackles Kyle Desotell and Austin Maas.
While the Maroons ran roughshod up and down the field, Marinette struggled to get anything going. Coach Kurt Gundlachs gang, which earned a playoff berth in Wisconsin last week, netted 145 total yards. The ground game picked up 69 yards on 34 rushes while quarterback Kyle Johnson was under heavy pressure the whole game and hit on 5 of 12 passes for 76 yards.
We got beat by a good team and didnt match Menominees physical play at all. I was disappointed with the overall play of the team, Gundlach said. It was a good experience to be involved with this game, but ultimately we didnt represent our community very well.
After both teams were forced to punt on their opening drives, the Maroons moved 82 yards on 4 plays for a 7-0 lead at the 6:50 mark of period one. LaPlante ripped through for 20 yards to midfield before Maccoux followed with a 38 yard jaunt to the Marinette 14. On the next play LaPlante raced in for the score. Michael Kinsey booted the first of six PATs for the early lead.
Marinette managed a trio of first downs on their next possession, moving the ball to the Maroon 36 . Jaden Boivin gained 16 yards on first down while Johnson hit Charlie Klumb for 16 yards to the 47. A couple of runs by Johnson along with an incomplete pass forced a fourth down punt.
Starting at their own 26, the Maroons pushed the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter. The 10 play, 74 yard march was highlighted by 9 straight runs, including 4 scampers by LaPlante and 3 from Maccoux. With the Marinette defense looking for the run, Menominee switched gears and saw Maccoux flip a 16 yard scoring pass to Bobby Olsen.
Thanks to another defensive stand, Menominee took over at its own 46. Four plays later the lead grew to 21-0 as Tyler Boye scooted in on a sweep play from 9 yards out (9:35).
The Maroons tallied their fourth score of the half with an 11 play, 79 yard drive. The scoring march featured 10 runs and one pass with LaPlante blasting in from a yard out (2:06) for a 28-0 halftime spread.
Following a sack by Cornman and a Maccoux interception, the Maroons were eying the possibility of another score. It never happened as Brandon Beaudo picked off a Maccoux pass on the first play from scrimmage.
Taking that insurmountable lead into the third quarter, the Maroons put the mercy clock in motion when Dakota Eland scored from 11 yards out at the 7:44 mark for a 35-0 spread.
Marinette avoided the shutout with 2:38 left in the game game as Boivin found an opening and raced in from 21 yards out. Nathan Comar tacked on the extra point kick for a 35-7 score. The scoring drive was highlighted by a 40 yard Johnson to Klumb pass play.
After recovering the ensuing onside kick and with time running down, the Maroons still had time for one more touchdown. Junior fullback Chris Briar managed to find the comforts of the end zone on a 3 yard run for that 42-7 final score.
Despite the loss, Marinette continues to lead the series 50-48-7.
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