HOUGHTON - It didn't take long for some changes to develop in the second U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association football poll, released today.
The new top team in the large-school division is Menominee, which received four of the five votes from the panel after Great Northern Conference rival Kingsford lost Friday night.
The Maroons, now 4-0, strolled to a 47-6 victory over Gladstone at home in their league opener, while Kingsford, which dropped to No. 3 this week, fell 36-14 to La Crosse (Wis.) Central.
L’Anse quarterback Jacob Ostermeyer lets it fly during Friday’s home game against Hancock at Meadowbrook Field. The Purple Hornets remain at No. 4 in the U.P. among small schools. (DMG photo by Michael Bleach)
The teams meet this Friday in Kingsford.
Between the two is No. 2 Ishpeming, which rolled over rival Westwood 38-8 in Mid-Peninsula Conference play and is still undefeated at 4-0. Ishpeming has one first-place vote and 20 poll points. Menominee has 24 and Kingsford 14.
At fourth in the large-school division is Negaunee, which became the second team to get a decisive win out of Mountaineer Stadium in Iron Mountain this season by beating the Mountaineers 28-6 Friday. The 4-0 Miners have 12 poll points.
Coming in at No. 5 is Escanaba. The Eskymos are just 2-2, having lost to Cedar Grove-Belgium, Wis., and Traverse City Central, but they won 31-22 at previously ranked Marquette Friday despite being outgained. They are also helped by unusual parity throughout the U.P.: In the three major large-school conferences, the GNC, M-PC and WestPAC, Kingsford and Marquette are the only 3-1 teams and there are eight at 2-2.
Marquette did receive a single vote.
In the small-school division, there were few changes. Forest Park, whose Week 4 opponent, Ontonagon, forfeited, is still No. 1 with two first-place votes and 22 points.
St. Ignace was finally scored upon in Week 4, but it didn't do Indian River Inland Lakes much good, as the Saints strolled 58-6. The Saints have two first-place votes and 21 points.
The other first-place vote went to No. 3 North Dickinson, which outgunned Stephenson 55-30 in Mid-Eastern Conference play.
L'Anse holds steady at No. 4 with nine points after its tight win over Hancock, followed by No. 5 Pickford, which has five poll points. Pickford put away Rogers City 48-25 in Ski Valley Conference play and faces undefeated Pellston this week.
All of the top five teams in the small-school poll this week are undefeated.
The Gogebic Miners (3-1) got a vote.
The top two teams in eight-man football as ranked by the panel are 2011 state finalist Rapid River and Cedarville.