MUNISING - Down 10-0 to L'Anse late in the second quarter Friday night, the Munising High School football team looked like its chances of gaining an automatic bid to the postseason playoffs was not in the cards.
But coach Jeff Seaberg's Mustangs tied the game in the final 53 seconds of the half and went on to post a 17-10 non-conference triumph over the visiting Purple Hornets to qualify for district tournament play.
"It feels great," Seaberg said after his club had improved to 6-3 on the season with its sixth straight win. "We didn't want (Thursday) to be our last practice of the season."
A 36-yard field goal by Ryan LaBerge and a 3-yard touchdown run by Jimmy Veker gave L'Anse (7-2) a 10-0 lead.
But Munising's Alex Hill caught a 60-yard TD pass from quarterback Austin Kelto with 53 seconds left in the half, then Andy Cooper kicked a 41-yard field goal with one second remaining to forge a 10-10 halftime tie.
"The kids were a little shell-shocked at first," Seaberg said, "but they held together and battled back. We had a couple of fortunate turnovers at the end of the half that we capitalized on."
Kelto notched the winning touchdown in the third quarter on a 4-yard run.
"Our defense is what kept us in it," Seaberg said. "They did an excellent job the entire game and kept L'Anse in check."
Cody Hayes led Munising on the ground with 75 yards on 14 carries; Kelto wound up completing 3-of-6 passes for 72 yards.
L'Anse 3 7 0 0 - 10
Munising 0 10 7 0 - 17
L'Anse - Ryan LaBerge 36 yard field goal, 4:12
L'Anse - Jimmy Veker 3 yard run (LaBerge kick), 2:02
Munising - Alex Hill 60 yard pass from Austin Kelto (Andy Cooper kick), :53
Munising - Cooper 41 yard field goal, :01
Munising - Kelto 4 yard run, (Cooper kick), 8:30
First downs - L'Anse unavailable; Munising 5
Rushes-yards - L'Anse 52-181 (leader unavailable); Munising 32-99 (Cody Hayes, 14-75)
Comp-Att-Int-Yards - L'Anse unavailable; Munising Kelto, 3-6-0-72
ONTONAGON - Ontonagon completed its season on a winning note Friday with a 36-22 victory over Baraga.
It was a battle of winless teams, but Gladiator coach Dave Linczeski said the teams played hard.
"It feels good to go out on a win," Linczeski said.
"This has been a terrific group of kids to work with. They played hard and stuck together against some tremendous competition."
Junior tailback Drew Morris scored two second half touchdowns to help lead the Gladiators win after a 14-14 halftime score.
But it was senior fullback Tony Soumis who had the big night for the Glads with three TDs, and a 66-yard return on the opening kickoff of the second half to spark the Ontonagon spurt.
Soumis carried the ball to the Baraga 4 to open the half and later scored from the 3. He added the 2-point run to put the hosts up 22-14.
Morris scored twice in the fourth quarter, first at the 10:24 mark on a 68-yard run. He passed the ball to Taylor Beaudry for 2 points and Ontonagon led 30-14.
Morris scored again with 7:48 remaining in the season from 3 yards out. The PAT failed and the Glads were up 36-14.
Baraga (0-9) added a late score by senior quarterback Dillon Hueckstaedt, on a 10-yard run. Eddie Ling added a 2-point run to make the final 36-22.
Baraga opened the scoring at the 3:34 mark in the first quarter when junior running back Corbin Crittenden fumbled the ball near the goal and Hueckstaedt recovered for the TD. The PAT failed and it was 6-0 Vikikngs.
Soumis put the Gladiators on the board with 3:13 remaining in the first quarter with a 54-yard TD run. Morris added the 2-point run for a 8-6 lead.
Soumis scored again at the 11:21 mark of the second quarter on a 42-yard run. The PAT fail, leaving it 14-6 Ontonagon.
Baraga knotted the score at 14-14 on a 2-yard TD pass from Hueckstaedt to Crittenden. A 2-point conversion was good, as well, setting up an exciting second half to end the season.
"It was a good way to end the year," said Linczeski.