BARAGA - Two football teams searching for that elusive first win of the season hooked up Friday night at the Osterman Athletic Complex.
When the dust had cleared, it was the Gwinn Modeltowners who walked away on the plus side of the ledger with a 42-10 victory.
"It's a big win for this bunch of kids," GHS coach Darren Sinnaeve said afterward. "We're two programs that have been struggling, but I'm just so happy for the seniors to finally taste some success."
The win was the first for the Modeltowners in two seasons and came after last season when the team cancelled out the final five games of the season because of a lack of numbers.
Baraga skipper Doug Hodges said his team simply made too many mistakes to have a shot.
"We dropped the football five of the first eight times we touched it ... you're not going to give yourself a chance to win when you do that," he said.
Gwinn 22 6 6 8 - 42
Baraga 0 10 0 0 - 10
GWN - Nyquist, 33-yard run (DeVooght run), 8:52
GWN - Floars, 6-yard run (run failed), 7:45
GWN - Nyquist, 49-yard run (DeVooght pass from Nyquist), 3:38
BAR - Safety, ball snapped over punter's head, 9:49
BAR - Goodreau, 59-yard free kick return (Loonsfoot pass from Goodreau), 9:25
GWN - DeVooght, 22-yard run (kick failed), 8:22
GWN - Uhlbeck, 5-yard run (kick failed), 2:29
GWN - McPherson, 5-yard run (Fisher run), 3:49
First downs - Gwinn 16, Baraga 9; Total offense - Gwinn 425 (425 rush, 0 pass), Baraga 183 (137 rush, 46 pass); Rushing, GWN, DeVooght 13-148, 1 TD; Nyquist 4-83, 2 TDs, Floars 11-81, 1 TD; Uhlbeck 2-39, McPherson 4-26; BAR, Goodreau, 19-63; Passing - GWN, n/a, BAR, Goodreau 5-9-46; Receiving, GWN, n/a; BAR, Hueckstadt, 3-10, Lindemann 1-23, Loonsfoot 1-13.
Both teams fumbled on their first possession, but it was the Marquette County team that cashed in first.
Quarterback Justin Nyquist dashed in from 17 yards out and Owen DeVoght added the PAT with a run for an 8-0 reading.
Another Baraga miscue led to a short Gwinn scoring drive after that, tailback Caleb Floars scoring from 15 yards out.
Nyquist got loose for a 51-yard scoring run later in the opening period amnd then flipped a pass to Nick Miller for the PAT for a 22-0 score.
Baraga finally got untracked and marched to the Gwinn 1 before running out of downs on the first play of the second frame.
But the Vikes got some life when a high snap sailed over the end line for a safety.
On the ensuing free kick, senior back Chris Goodreau split the seam and raced 63 yards for a touchdown. Goodreau passed to Dillon Hucksteadt for the PAT and it was suddenly a 22-10 game.
"They (Vikings) scored ten points about as fast as you can," Sinnaeve said. "But we came right back and that was good to see."
Gwinn needed just three plays to cover 66 yards - Floars covering the final 21.
That made it 28-12 at the halftime break and set the stage for a rather quiet second half in the first meeting of the two schools since the early 1960s.
Steve Uhlbeck tallied a touchdown run in the third quarter and Ringo McPherson scored from five yards out late in the game. Seldom-used tailback CJ Fisher added the run for the two points, drawing the biggest cheer of the night from the sizeable Gwinn following.
Hodges said his banged up team played hard,
"I can't fault the effort of the kids," the BHS skipper said. "All we can do is go out there every game and play hard."
DeVooght had a big game for the 1-3 winners, grinding out 148 yards in 13 carries. Nyquist added 83 in 4 tries, while Floars had 81 in 11 lugs.
Goodreau picked 63 yards in 19 tries for the 0-4 Vikes.
Both teams face rugged foes next week. GHS tackles Negaunee, while Baraga hosts unbeaten L'Anse.