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Back to .500 and then some for Kings

September 29, 2012
By Brandon Veale - DMG Sports Editor ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET - Calumet had too many weapons and West Iron County had not enough bodies in WestPAC football Friday night at Agassiz Field.

The result was a 38-8 trouncing in the Copper Kings' favor, bringing their record back to 3-3 (3-1 WestPAC) after opening the season with three straight losses.

"I'm really impressed with how much intensity we bring to the game and how much hitting's going on out there. We've just been putting teams on their heels and it's been awesome," Calumet coach John Croze said.

Article Photos

Daily Mining Gazette/Brandon Veale
Calumet running back Tyler Roland breaks away from West Iron County’s Andrew Peterson for a 13-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of Friday’s game at Agassiz Field in?Calumet.

The evidence for Calumet's balance: First, the Kings got five touchdowns from four different players. Second, Calumet racked up 283 rushing yards, yet didn't have a single carrier with more than 76. Third, West Iron was held without a first down of its own accord until the last play of the first half.

"We're really pleased with the way we're playing ball right now. Of course, we've been playing good ball all year long. It's nice to be able to get the offense rolling the way we have been the last couple of weeks," Croze said.

That arsenal made life tough on a visiting Wykon squad with serious injury issues. West Iron was down to 14 active players at the end of the game, coach Mike Berutti said.

Fact Box

West Iron 0 0 0 8 - 8

Calumet 8 24 6 0 - 38

First quarter

CAL - Tyler Roland, 13-yard run (James Sturos run), 5:48

Second quarter

CAL - Bryce Johnson, 2-yard run (Brendan Jacques run), 8:21

CAL - Jacques, 55-yard pass from Owen Kariniemi (Paul Torola pass from Sturos), 5:11

CAL - Torola, 13-yard pass from Sturos (Kariniemi pass from Sturos), 1:37

Third quarter

CAL - Jacques, 3-yard run (kick failed), 6:06

Fourth quarter

WIC - Joe Pisoni, 10-yard pass from Andrew Peterson (Alec Schmelebeck run), 10:12


First downs - West Iron 5, Calumet 19; Total offense - West Iron 144 (93 rush, 51 pass), Calumet 402 (283 rush, 119 pass); Rushing, WIC, Adam Newby 7-53; Schmelebeck 8-28; Ron Varney 4-9; CAL, Roland 7-76; Jacques 8-53; Clark Kangas 8-50; Johnson 7-28; Lucas Lahnala 7-28; Braden Anderson 4-20; Leo Berg 4-17; Sturos 2-11; Passing, WIC, Peterson 3-9-51, 1 TD; CAL, Sturos 5-8-64, 1 TD; Kariniemi 1-1-55, TD; Receiving, WIC, Pisoni 2-51, TD; CAL, Torola 3-34, TD; Jacques 1-55, TD; Lahnala 1-17, Johnson 1-13.

"We're just playing out of position, we're just patchwork," he said.

Calumet, already a physical bunch, had some especially grinding drives Friday. On its first possession, the Kings went 67 yards in nine plays. Tyler Roland broke some Wykon tackles on a 13-yard trip up the middle to put Calumet in the lead with 5:48 left in the first quarter.

After two three-and-outs sandwiched around a Calumet turnover, the Copper Kings took possession on their own 5-yard line late in the quarter. They then proceeded to chew up yards, moving 95 yards in 13 plays. Bryce Johnson pounded it in on the second of two attempts near the goal line.

Once they'd showed their power, the Kings switched to some pizzazz. On the third play of their next drive, the Kings executed a perfect option pass from receiver Owen Kariniemi to running back Brendan Jacques.

"We certainly put the ball in a couple of good athletes' hands there and they did a great job executing," Croze said.

After stonewalling the Wykons again, Calumet went to the air a little more conventionally for its next eight points - a 13-yard fade pass from James Sturos to Paul Frantti, followed by a toe-drag catch from Kariniemi in the end zone for the conversion.

That made it 32-0 at the half and left the second largely to the reserves.

"We practice hard all week and we get 34 kids all practicing hard. It was great to see all 34 out there having a blast and playing great football," Croze said.

Roland ran for 76 yards on seven carries to lead Calumet, but five other had at least 20 yards. Sturos completed 5-of-8 passes for 64 yards, 34 for Torola, who caught three balls.

For West Iron, Adam Newby had a team-best 53 rush yards on seven attempts, while Andrew Peterson was 3-for-9 passing for 51 yards.

"I thought we would come out and play a little bit better. They came out, they were fired out, they hit you, they got us on a couple of pass plays in that first half. When you don't take your read steps and do what you're supposed to do, bad things happen," Berutti said.

The Wykons, who fall to 3-3 (2-2 WestPAC), have another tough assignment next Friday, a trip to league co-leader Northland Pines.

Calumet faces the other league co-leader, L'Anse, next Friday in their home finale at Agassiz Field.



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