revenge for them beating usup there last year (in theplayoff opener),” T-Mac said.“There’s no way we wanted tolose to them at home, espe-cially all the seniors. In three years on the varsity, none of us seniors have ever lost ahome game.“This is really sweet,” headded. “It was a great teameffort today and we had agreat crowd here supporting us. Now we have anothershot at Menominee. We know they’re tough. When I was asophomore we ended theseason there and we don’t want that to happen again.”The Flivvers closed the gapto 28-19 on their first posses-sion of the third quarter butthe Vikings answered rightback a minute later as seniorSwander fired his fourth TDpass of the game, a missilethat the leaping Latusek wrestled away from converg-ing Kingsford defender ColeTengesdahl in the corner of the end zone.Kingsford trimmed thelead to 35-25 early in thefourth quarter when scram-bling QB Joe Hofer hookedup with Brody Sundquistdown the sidelines for a 44- yard strike on a fourth-and-11 play. The Vikings stuffedthe critical two-point conver-sion, however, as linebackerNick Swiercz and tackle William “Rock-a-Bye”Romain stuffed charging full-back Tyler Roberts at the lineof scrimmage. After that, the Vikingssealed the deal with a time-chewing18-play, 80-yardmarch culminating inSwander’s 3-yard keeper upthe middle with 2:50 remain-ing. Harris’s fifth successfulPAT of the game gave thehome team an insurmount-able 17-point lead.Swander found Danny Schultz for 19 yards and a key first down early in the march,then hooked up withMcClanahan for 16 yards foranother third-down conver-sion to bring the ball intoFlivver territory. On fourth-and-11 from the 14, Swanderfired to the leaping Latusek for 13 yards over the middleto set up the clinching score.Latusek was well-coveredagain but made the play withhis second Megatron-likecatch of the contest.The Flivvers got the ballback one final time after thatbut were unable to advanceas Hofer was sacked by blitz-ing linebackers Swiercz andBranch.Swander hit on 18-of-36aerials for 263 yards in thecontest. Latusek hauled inthree for 33 yards, including the two tough catches in traf-fic. Branch bashed, dashedand crashed his way to 152 yards on 23 carries with a 10- yard TD on his stat line andthe elusive Harris darted andslashed his way to 155 yardson 17 tries.Cornerback Jaxson Ferreereturned an interception 75 yards to put the Flivvers’ firstpoints on the board. Running back Alex Patterson raced 74 yards on a trap play to set upthe visitors’ second touch-down, a 1-yard plunge by Roberts. Patterson also tal-lied on a 4-yard sweep in thethird quarter. Long-armedlineman Hugh Harrisblocked a punt to set upKingsford’s final touchdownof the day, the 44-yard bombfrom Hofer to Sundquist.Harris also recovered a fum-ble, as did Roberts on amuffed punt.In addition to his receiving yards, McClanahan also hada huge game defensively,making 10 tackles and a leap-ing interception inside the 5- yard line to halt the Flivvers’first drive of the game.The ubiquitous Branch, who covered the field likegreen on a grass blade, had ateam-high 11 tackles and wasgave the Flivvers fits with hisbonsai-like blitzes. “Rock-a-Bye” Romain was a fearsomeforce on both sides of thetrenches. Defensively hemade nine stops and had twosacks.
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By Mike DunnISHPEMING – Mancelonahead coach Dan “Boo” Derrerknew it would be tough andhe was right.The Ironmen made thelong trip north to faceunbeaten Ishpeming in theDiv. 7 playoffs for the second year in a row and, for the sec-ond year in a row, theIronmen season ended in theU.P.The defending state cham-pion Hematites improved to10-0 and face unbeaten WestIron County in the districttitle game this week.Last year, the Ironmen wontheir playoff opener at homeagainst Whittemore-Prescottand met up with theHematites in week two withthe district title on the line.This year, the Ironmenopened the playoffs atIshpeming. The 50-0 loss inthe pre-district clash leftMancelona with arespectable 7-3 record for the2013 campaign.Mancy made the playoffsfor the sixth time in seven years in the Derrer Era. TheIronmen also captured theSki Valley title for the fourthstraight year and extendedtheir league winning streak to 26 in a row dating back toOctober of 2009. With both West Iron County andIshpeming in their playoff district, the Ironmen werenot able to accumulateenough points during theseason to host a playoff gamethis year. They ended up asthe No. 3 seed and had tomake the trip to Ishpeming for the opener. On the otherside of the bracket, No. 1 seed West Iron County played hostto Traverse City St. Francisand secured a 21-6 victory.The Ironmen played hardin the loss at Ishpeming butthe Hematites were simply the better team.“They’re a great team,”Derrer acknowledged. “Theirquarterback (Alex Briones) isthe real deal. He’s a D-1 kidand he played like it.“We couldn’t move theball,” he added. “We did apretty good job of stopping their run but when they wentto the pass, we couldn’t stopthem. We weren’t able to getpressure on their quarter-back and he was really accu-rate with his passes.”Briones, who is bound forCentral Michigan University next year, was super in thegame, hitting 7-of-10 for 246 yards and five touchdowns.The Ironmen were over-matched but still gave a gritty effort.“The kids played hard anddidn’t give up,” Derrer said. “A few of our kids had really good games. (Senior two-way lineman) Tristan Waters may have had his best game of the year. He was outstanding ondefense. He did exactly what we told him to do. He wasone of the guys who really stepped up and played well.”Derrer also commendedthe hard-nosed play of seniorlinebacker Luke “SmashMouth” Smigielski, defensiveend Garrett Derrer and noseguard Cody Derrer.“Overall, the kids playedhard; they were just a lot bet-ter,” he said.Leg-churning senior full-back Logan Borst wasengulfed by blue Hematite jerseys every time hetouched the ball. He wasn’table to generate a ton of yardage but he capped hisnotable prep career withanother blue-collar effort,running the ball like a loco-motive every time he carriedthe pigskin.Fellow senior backs JustinSpires and Erik Wheeler ranequally hard but ran into thesame blue wall of tacklers.The Ironmen were not ableto get a first down until thethird quarter. Spires smashedand bashed his way to ateam-high 23 yards in eighttries.On the defensive side,Garrett Derrer deliveredtakedowns nine times.“Smash Mouth” Smigielskiand Waters put the whack down eight times each.Boo will miss the seniors who will be graduating andleaving the program.“They’re a great group of kids,” he said. “They’veplayed a big part in keeping the winning tradition going.They’ve representedMancelona well and led the way for the younger guys.”Derrer said there were a lotof tears in the locker-roomafter Saturday’s game.“It’s always tough becausethey know it’s the end,” hesaid.
I!hpeming 50, Mancelona 0
Ironmen season comes to a halt
Ishpeming keeps Mancy runninggame in check, takes first step todefending state title
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