HOUGHTON - Houghton's chance for an upset got away from them after halftime, as Northland Pines outscored the Gremlins 42-8 in the second half and 55-16 for the game in a WestPAC victory.
Houghton cut the gap to four points on Thomas Schmidt's 13-yard touchdown run and following two-point conversion with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter. NP's Bailey Ramesh rumbled in from 77 yards out on the first Eagle play from scrimmage, the Gremlins fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Ryan Ozalie barged in from a yard out to make it 35-16 just 1:31 after Ramesh's score.
Pines tacked on three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to reach the final total.
Ben Collaer ran for 102 yards and a first-half touchdown on 26 carries, while Schmidt added 96 yards on 15 carries and scored twice.
Ramesh ran for 183 yards on just nine attempts for the league-leading Eagles. Ozalie had 149.
Houghton (3-3, 2-3 WestPAC) plays Saturday at Lake Linden-Hubbell, while Pines (6-1, 4-0 WestPAC) faces a Saturday showdown at West Iron County that will all but decide the league.
Pines 7 6 22 20 - 55
Houghton 0 8 8 0 - 16
NP - John Puffer, 1-yard run (Josh Lacko kick), 7:56
HOU - Ben Collaer, 1-yard run (Thomas Schmidt run), 11:16
NP - Bailey Ramesh, 3-yard run (kick blocked), 3:40
NP - Ryan Ozalie, 17-yard run (Lacko kick), 8:02
HOU - Schmidt, 13-yard run (Schmidt run), 3:05
NP - Ramesh, 77-yard run (Ramesh run), 2:48
NP - Ozalie, 1-yard run (Lacko kick), 1:17
NP - Joe Roach, 1-yard run (Lacko kick), 9:43
NP - Ozalie, 67-yard run (Lacko kick), 6:14
NP - Ramesh, 55-yard run (conversion conceded), 2:58
First downs - NP 13, HOU 15; Rushing - NP, Ramesh 9-183 3 TDs; Ozalie 13-149, Cooper Kerner 11-94; HOU, Collaer 26-102 1 TD; Schmidt 15-96 1 TD. Passing - NP, Kerner 3-7-16; HOU, Collaer 3-15-28-1 INT.
L'Anse 41, Ironwood 13
L'ANSE - A pair of big runs from Ryan Beauprey broke open a surprisingly competitive game Friday at Meadowbrook Field, as L'Anse moved to within a game of playoff qualification by dismissing Ironwood in WestPAC play.
"I thought we stepped up there and we had a good spurt there where we were able to open the game up," L'Anse coach Mark Leaf said.
The winless Red Devils (0-6, 0-4 WestPAC) pulled to within eight on Denver Sharrow's 18-yard run late in the third quarter, but Beauprey busted a 70-yard run just 18 seconds later for a 28-13 edge. Less than three minutes later, he got into the clear again for a 56-yard score and an insurmountable 35-13 edge after three quarters.
Beauprey finished with 165 yards on eight carries and might have had even more had another long run been negated by a holding penalty.
"The line did a nice thing getting some holes for him, and Ryan's got some good speed and he was able to break them," Leaf said.
Brandon Kemppainen had a pair of first-quarter TD runs for the Purple Hornets and added 79 yards.
"We had good balance in our rushing game, we were really able to spread it out tonight," Leaf said.
Ryan LaBerge hit five extra points and connected with Jimmy Veker for a TD pass.
L'Anse (5-1, 3-1 WestPAC) can clinch an automatic playoff berth next week vs. Calumet.
Ironwood 0 7 6 0 - 13
L'Anse14 7 14 6 - 41
LAN - Brandon Kemppainen, 1-yard run (LaBerge kick), 6:33
LAN - Kemppainen, 37-yard (LaBerge kick), 2:21
IWD - Adam Mackey, 6-yard run (Brody Stefonich kick), 3:12
LAN - Jimmy Veker, 13-yard pass from LaBerge (LaBerge kick), 1:21
IWD - Denver Sharrow, 18-yard run (kick failed), 3:51
LAN - Ryan Beauprey, 70-yard run (LaBerge kick), 3:33
LAN - Beauprey, 56-yard run (LaBerge kick), :43
LAN - Drake Sullivan, 7-yard run (kick aborted), 1:44
Total offense - IWD 320 (211 rush, 109 pass) LAN 426 (369 rush, 57 pass); First downs - IWD 9, LAN 16; Rushing - IWD, Sharrow 15-132 1 TD, Mackey 13-61; LAN, Beauprey 8-165 2 TDs; Kemppainen 11-79 3 TDs, Veker 7-54; Passing - IWD, Mackey 7-13-109 1 INT; LAN - LaBerge 4-7-57 1 TD; Receiving - IWD, Jake Digiorgio 3-48; LAN, Magaraggia 3-44, Veker 1-13.
West Iron County 41, Calumet 0
IRON RIVER - Alec Schmelebeck rushed for 199 yards and three touchdowns and West Iron clinched a playoff berth with a 41-0 win over Calumet in WestPAC football Friday.
Coach Mike Berutti's Wykons (6-0, 4-0), playing through a light mist at Nelson Field, piled up 426 yards of offense - only 13 through the air.
"The offensive and defensive lines played well," Berutti said. "The backs ran hard and protected the ball."
Schmelebeck ripped off a 71-yard touchdown dash in the second quarter. A one-yard scoring run by Andrew Peterson - his second TD of the night - gave the Wykons a 35-0 halftime cushion. Tylor Capadagli completed the scoring with a one-yard dive in the fourth.
Calumet (0-6, 0-4) managed 153 yards of offense.
Brandon Olson and Ryan Rogers had interceptions for the Wykons.
West Iron hosts Northland Pines on Saturday.
Calumet 0 0 0 0 - 0
West Iron 19 16 0 6 - 41
WI - Andrew Peterson, 6-yd. run (Ryan Rogers kick).
WI - Alec Schmelebeck, 6-yd. run (kick failed).
WI - Schmelebeck, 1-yd. run (run failed).
WI - Schmelebeck, 71-yd. run (Peterson run).
WI - Peterson, 1-yd. run (Nick Helgemo run).
WI - Capadagli, 1-yd. run (run failed).
Total offense: Calumet, 153 yards (101 rushing, 52 passing). West Iron, 426 yards (413 rushing, 13 passing).
Rushing: Calumet, 23-101. West Iron, 46-413 (Schmelebeck, 14-199).
Passing: Calumet, 6-14, 52 yds., 2 ints.; West Iron (Peterson), 1-2, 13 yds.
Munising 48, Ontonagon 20
ONTONAGON - Six touchdowns from Garrett Blank made for a rare calm finish for the Munising Mustangs on the road Friday at Ontonagon.
The Mustangs went 2-3 in their first five games, decided by a combined 19 points.
This one was not as competitive, but Ontonagon did score a season high for points thanks to a trio of Tony Soumis touchdown runs.
After Cody Hayes ran one in and Blank caught a touchdown pass to give Munising a 16-0 first-quarter lead, Soumis cut the gap in half with a 3-yard run followed by the two-point conversion.
Blank's first rushing touchdown made it 22-8 at half and his second extended the game to 29-8.
Soumis and Blank then dueled five TDs in a five-minute span of the fourth quarter.
Soumis finished with 71 rush yards on 29 attempts.
The Gladiators fall to 0-6 and will play the Gogebic Miners in Wakefield next Saturday.
Munising 14 67 21 - 48
Ontonagon 0 8 0 12 - 20
Mun - Cody Hayes 12 run (Andy Cooper kick), 7:06
Mun - Garrett Blank 36 pass from Austin Kelto (Cooper kick), 4:59
Ont - Tony Soumis 3 run (Soumis run), 7:06
Mun - Blank 38 run (kick failed), 2:56
Mun - Blank 5 run (Cooper kick) 6:12
Ont - Soumis 4 run (pass failed), 8:58
Mun - Blank 5 run (Cooper kick), 6:54
Ont - Soumis 6 run (pass failed), 5:28
Mun - Blank 4 run (Cooper kick), 4:36
Mun - Blank 13 run (Cooper kick), 3:51
Rushing - Ontonagon, Tony Soumis, 29-71, Drew Morris 5-19, Noel Jenney, 10-19, David Pollard 1-2.
Passing - Ontonagon, Tony Soumis 9-13-125-1.
Receiving - Ontonagon, Drew Morris 4-41, David Pollard 2-56.
Hurley, Wis. 52,
BARAGA - Dillon Hueckstadt grabbed a first-half touchdown run but the Hurley Midgets spoiled Homecoming for Baraga Friday.
The Midgets scored 38 first-half points, with Mark Saari and Roman Lupino notching a pair of touchdowns apiece.
Hueckstadt converted on an 11-yard run 4:50 into the game to make it 14-6, then hit Austin Smith with a two-point conversion pass, but Hurley's machine kept rolling, triggering running time in the second half.
Three Hurley players ran for 89 yards or more, led by Saari's 125 on 10 carries.
Eddie Ling racked up 125 yards for the Vikings on 14 attempts, while Hueckstaedt completed 4-of-10 passes for 30 yards.
The Vikings (0-6, 0-3 Great Western) face Forest Park at home next Friday night.
Hurley 26 12 7 7 - 52
Baraga 8 0 0 0 - 8
Hur - Mark Saari 55 run (Jordan Moore kick) , 11:42
Hur - Saari 2 run (Moore kick), 8:45
Bar - Dillon Hueckstaedt 11 run (Austin Smith pass from Hueckstaedt), 7:10
Hur - Jared Wendt 48 pass from James Sukanen (kick failed), 4:32
Hur - Michael Brannigan 49 run (kick failed), :45
Hur - Roman Lupino 5 run (kick failed), 2:49
Hur - Lupino 32 pass from Sukanen (kick failed), :51
Hur - Jake Tenlen 6 run (Moore kick), 4:59
Hur - Nick Fink 18 run (Moore kick), 5:01
Total offense - HUR 454 (364 rush, 90 pass), BAR 162 (132 rush, 30 pass); First downs - HUR 12, BAR 7. Rushing - Hurley, Mark Saari 10-125, Roman Lupino 7-95, Michael Brannigan 6-89, Nick Fink 2-27, James Sukanen 2-12, Cole Huotari 2-10, Jake Tenlen 2-6. Baraga, Eddie Ling 14-125, Dillon Hueckstaedt 16-26, Corbin Crittendon 7-minus 10, Michael Turunen 3-minus 6, Austin Smith 1-minus 3. Passing - Hurley, James Sukanen 3-6-90-0. Baraga, Dillon Hueckstaedt 4-10-30-1, Michael Turunen 0-1-0-0. Receiving - Hurley, Jared Wendt 1-48, Roman Lupino 1-42, Mark Saari 1-10. Baraga, Corbin Crittendon 2-22, Michael Turunen 1-7, Austin Smith 1-1.