L’Anse tops Hurley in dramatic fashion, 20-18, to remain unbeaten in West-PAC

Daily Globe (Ironwood)/Jason Juno L'Anse's Foster Miller tries to get away from an outstretched Dakota Haanen of Hurley during Friday night's West-PAC game at Veterans Memorial Field in Hurley. He rushed for 227 of L'Anse's 234 yards and scored three touchdowns.

HURLEY — L’Anse lost its leading receiver, Logan Fish, to injury on the opening kickoff. So they had to count on the legs of Foster Miller once again, and once again, he came through.

Miller rushed for 227 yards, all but seven of L’Anse’s 234 for the night, as the Purple Hornets survived a wild finish to beat Hurley in a fantastic football game Friday night.

Coming into the game, L’Anse expected to pass the ball more than in last week’s 20-18 win over Hancock, but the injury to Fish — he doesn’t appear to have major knee damage — changed all that in a hurry. Miller got the ball 24 times and ran for three touchdowns.

“We fought and we got after it. We couldn’t let that ruin the game,” Miller said. “I figured I was going to get a lot of carries.”

L’Anse stays in a first-place tie in the West-PAC with West Iron County with the win.

“To come down here and beat a good Hurley team on the road, it’s a huge win for us, a huge win for our kids and a huge win for our football program,” L’Anse coach Mark Leaf said. “It was a heck of a high school football game.”

Miller said, “3-0 in the West-PAC, that’s a huge deal for us. Coming here on their Homecoming and beating them on their turf, that’s awesome.”

He gave credit to his offensive line for helping him get over the 200-yard mark for the second straight game.

“Foster had an incredible game again. He’s just a workhorse, he plays with a lot of heart,” Leaf said. “He’s got a great combination of speed, power and great balance, you could see a couple times he put his hand down and kept going. He’s such a hard worker and a great kid, it’s great to see him do well.”

The Midgets’ defense had improved against the run the last couple of weeks, but Miller was a different animal.

“We had a tough time bringing (Miller) down. He’s a special player,” Hurley coach Scott Erickson said.

Hurley missed an opportunity to clinch a WIAA playoff berth and stay in the thick of the West-PAC race. The Midgets need one more conference win to make the postseason.

The Purple Hornets led 14-0 and the Midgets fought to come back all night long.

“Our kids hung in there and battled,” Erickson said. “We had a chance to do something at the end. It just didn’t work out.”

Two successful extra points by Reese Waara ended up being the difference in the game as the Purple Hornets stuffed Hurley on all three 2-point conversions.

L’Anse led 20-12 when Waara missed a 30-yard field goal that could have made it a two-possession game with 5:18 left.

The Midgets took over with 5:18 left and went 87 yards to score. Not that it was easy. It had fans at the edge of their seats, though.

On fourth and 16, Hurley quarterback Isaac DeCarlo found a wide-open Nathan Harrington for a 47-yard touchdown. Hurley’s run up the gut on the conversion try was stuffed and it remained 20-18 with 1:16 left.

Leaf couldn’t believe it because they also put an extra defensive back into the game. But at least they stopped the conversion and that’s all they needed.

“The kids stepped up and made plays,” Leaf said of the three conversion stops. “Those were the turning point of the game. I couldn’t be more proud of my kids. A hot night, they really sucked it up and made some plays. Just a great win.”

Harrington recovered the onside kick, giving the Midgets one last chance.

But two holding calls on two plays that would have been good enough for first downs ruined their comeback. The second would have put Hurley at or inside the L’Anse 30. Instead it ended up being fourth and 25 at the Hurley 35.

“That’s part of the game,” Erickson said. “Tonight it didn’t go our way, it went L’Anse’s way and they have a real good ballclub.”

L’Anse held Hurley to a season-low 234 yards rushing on 41 carries.

“Backers came underneath, underneath our stuff, and that hurt,” Erickson said. “We didn’t get to the edges very well tonight. They’re fast and athletic.”

Hurley (3-2) heads to Hancock next Friday night. L’Anse hosts Gogebic on the same night.

L’Anse 7 7 6 0 – 20

Hurley 0 6 6 6 – 18

First Quarter

Lan – Foster Miller 23 run (Reese Waara kick), 5:00

Second Quarter

Lan – Miller 15 run (Waara kick), 6:08

Hur – Scott Subert 2 run (run failed), 1:41

Third Quarter

Hur – Subert 56 run (run failed), 1:37

Lan – Miller 3 run (pass failed), :20

Fourth Quarter

Hur – Nathan Harrington 47 pass from Isaac DeCarlo (run failed), 1:16

Lan Hur

First downs 12 11

Rushes-yards 38-261 41-234

Comp-Att-Int 0-6-0 3-5-0

Passing 0 74

Total yards 261 308

Penalties-yards 3-30 4-35

Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0


RUSHING – L’Anse, Foster Miller 24-227, Joe Magaraggia 9-35, Kooper Jahfetson 3-0, Chase Parker 2-minus 1.. Hurley, Scott Subert 17-113, Kodey Henning 11-65, Dakota Haanen 6-52, Isaac DeCarlo 7-4.

PASSING – L’Anse, Kooper Jahfetson, 0-6-0-0. Hurley, Isaac DeCarlo, 3-5-74-0.

RECEIVING – L’Anse, None. Hurley, Nathan Harrington 1-47, Kodey Henning 1-22, Dakota Haanen 1-5.