Hancock 4th in 1st UPSSA Football poll; Ontonagon 2nd

George Leionen photo Hancock’s Colton Salani runs for a 63-yard touchdown after Gogebic’s rush didn’t allow him to get off a punt Friday at McAfee Field. Hancock’s Alex Nordstrom looks for someone to block as Gogebic’s Brayden Tomes (46) gives chase.

The first football poll of the season was released by the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association today. The Hancock Bulldogs and Ontonagon Gladiators each cracked the top five, while the L’Anse Purple Hornets and Calumet Copper Kings each received honorable mention.

Hancock has cruised to a 3-0 record to start the season — its best start since 2006 when Hancock started 4-0 before earning a playoff appearance with a 7-2 regular season record.

The Bulldogs (3-0, 2-0) will travel to face L’Anse (2-1, 2-0 West-PAC) on Friday in a battle for first in the West-PAC. The West Iron County Wykons are also 1-0 in conference.

This week is the start of the most difficult stretch for Hancock, as Hancock’s next five opponents have a combined record of 10-5. After going to L’Anse, the Bulldogs will travel to Calumet (2-1, 1-1) in Week 5 before hosting the Hurley Midgets (2-1, 1-1), traveling to face the Gwinn Modeltowners (2-1) and then hosting West Iron County (2-1).

Calumet will look to get back on track Friday against its rival, the Houghton Gremlins (0-3, 0-2), after falling 32-26 to Hurley. The Copper Kings eclipsed 200 yards against Northland Pines and Negaunee before being limited to 70 yards on the ground against Hurley.

For Houghton, they showed signs of improvement after scoring just six points, total, in the first two weeks by putting up 30 in a 42-30 loss to the Gogebic Miners.

In eight-person, the No. 2 Ontonagon Gladiators (3-0) travel to face the No. 3-ranked Rapid River Rockets (3-0). Ontonagon is coming off a 32-30 win over the North Central Jets.

U.P. Football Poll No. 1

BIG FIVE

1. Menominee (4) 2-1 25

2. Gladstone (2) 3-0 23

3. Escanaba 2-1 18

4. Hancock 3-0 10

5. Kingsford 1-1 9

Honorable mention

Calumet 2-1 5

LITTLE FIVE

1. Norway (5) 3-0 29

2. Westwood (1) 3-0 20

3. Newberry 2-1 16

4. Gwinn 2-1 8

4. WIC 2-1 8

Honorable mention

L’Anse 2-1 6

BR-Harris 2-1 2

Ishpeming 1-2 1

EIGHT PERSON

1. Stephenson (5) 3-0 29

2. Ontonagon (1) 2-0 20

3. Rapid River 3-0 18

4. Pickford 3-0 11

5. Cedarville 3-0 9

Honorable mention

North Central 1-2 2

Forest Park 1-2 1

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