Ishpeming Ends Mancelona’s Season Once Again With 50-0 Win
ISHPEMING, MI – For the third time since 2010, the Mancelona Ironmen came to Ishpeming to face the Hematites in MHSAA playoff action, and, for as many times, went home without another game to play. Ishpeming came out looking like they had something to prove, as they absolutely swarmed the Mancelona offense. The Hematite defense only allowed 20-yards on the ground in the first half of Saturday’s game. They ended up allowing 56 by the end of the game. If that isn’t a statement to the rest of division-7, then I don’t know what is.
If the Hematite defense was impressive, then the offense was stupendous. Quarterback Alex Briones threw for 246-yards on seven completions, five of which ended up in the end zone. Four different receivers scored on passes from Briones as he completed touchdown passes to Marcus Antilla (46-yards), Mitch Laurin (60-yards), Ozzy Corp (13- & 50-yards), and Noah Olgren (53-yards). The Hematites were as balanced a team as you could see in the U.P. on Saturday as they also ran the ball 36 times for 190-yards, led by Bobby Zhulkie who carried the ball a team-high 13 times for 61-yards.
The biggest takeaway from this game is that the Hematites are showing no loss of hunger. They’re playing like they’re the underdogs. Like they’re the team that needs to be perfect to win. They have a chip on their shoulder the size of the Grand Canyon, and they’re going to continue to come at teams until somebody can step up and stop them. They can beat you so many ways: Passing, rushing, trickery, or even just stopping the other team if ever their offense should struggle.
The Hematites will need that chip this Friday night as they will have to travel, surprisingly, to West Iron County for a round two match-up with the Wycons. Despite finishing undefeated, the Hematites’ strength of schedule left much to be desired. Neither team really had that hard of a schedule (Ish: 31-50; WIC: 36-45), but the Hematites only played two playoff teams this season (Negaunee & Crandon, WI) where the Wycons faced four, and dominated those four at that. It is going to be a game worth monitoring to say the least. If you cannot make it to the actual field, I highly recommend that you tune into 98.3WRUP for the game.
Join Mike Plourde & Bob Nadeau this Friday Night at 7 o’clock as the Ishpeming Hematites travel to West Iron County in Iron River to play the Wycons. It is the battle of the unbeatens. Pre-game is at 6:30pm EST and kickoff is at 7:00. Catch it all streaming LIVE! here on our website WRUP.com or tune into FM 98.3WRUP. GO HEMATITES!
-Carl L. Johnson