Hematite Friday Night – Ishpeming Hematites (22) vs Oconto Blue Devils (12) – 9/30/16
Oconto, Wisconsin – September 30, 2016 – Mike Plourde and Bob Nadeau were in the UP Propane Broadcast Booth Friday on a rainy night in Oconto, Wisconsin where the Ishpeming Hematites traveled to take on the Oconto Blue Devils in a non-conference match up. Ishpeming entered the contest with a record of 2-2 after falling to the Norway Knights last week. Oconto was 4-2 coming into this week.
The game started with a bang when Oconto received the opening kickoff and took it 75 yards to the house to give Oconto a 6-0 lead early into the game. Ishpeming was looking to respond driving into Oconto territory when Octonto was able to intercept an Ishpeming pass to stop the Hematites.
Oconto had Ishpeming on the ropes late in the second quarter when they had a 6-0 lead and were driving deep into Hematite territory. Then Ishpeming’s defense came through when Wyatt Bodette intercepted an Oconto pass at the Hematites two yard line to prevent going down two scores. The turnover proved to be crucial when, aided by a fourth down conversion, Ishpeming scored just before halftime on a Donald Denofre 20-yard touchdown pass to Daren Giuchin. After a successful 2-point conversion, the Hematites took an 8-6 lead into the intermission.
The third quarter began with another special teams surprise, this time in the form of a surprise onside kick by Oconto. Oconto recovered the kick and took over to begin the third quarter. The Hematites defense came through big once again when a bad snap from Oconto was recovered by the Hematites. The Hematites capitalized on the turnover when Isaac Olson scored on the ground to give the Hematites a 14-6 lead with 7:31 left in the third after an unsuccessful 2-point conversion attempt. Oconto answered right back on a touchdown pass that was tipped but eventually caught just 23 seconds later. Ishpeming stopped Oconto on the 2-point conversion to keep the lead 14-12.
Oconto was looking to take the lead in the fourth quarter when they had the ball in Ishpeming territory. But for the third time, the Hematites defense forced a turnover when Tanner Dellangelo picked off the Blue Devils’ pass. The Hematites took over and were able to wear down an already tired Oconto team by pounding the rock on the ground. The Hematites were then able to ice the game when Donald Denofre called his own number and scored from 1-yard out. A successful 2-point conversion gave the Hematites a 22-12 lead with 3:18 left in the game.
The Hematites defense forced a turnover on downs with just under three minutes left to play in the game. From there, the Hematites ran out the clock and took home a 22-12 victory over Oconto. The win improved the Hematites record to 3-2, just two wins away from an automatic playoff berth.
Ishpeming travels to Negaunee next week to face the Miners in a Mid-Peninsula Conference showdown on Real Classic Rock 98.3 WRUP and online at WRUP.com.
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