Finlandia holds off Robert Morris-Peoria 42-20

David Archambeau/Daily Mining Gazette Finlandia’s De’Llontae Johnson runs as Robert Morris’ Trequawn Edwards gives chase, Saturday, at McAfee Field. Finlandia won 42-20.

HANCOCK — On a day better suited for duck hunting, the Finlandia University football team used a secret weapon to defeat help Robert Morris-Peoria Saturday afternoon.

Junior place kicker Avery Huibregtse was perfect on four field goals in his team’s 42-20 victory.

“Having him (Huibregtse) available is a nice option for us to,” Lions’ coach Tim Driscoll said after a long and rainy day as McAfee Field. “He did a great job today.”

A native of Oostburg, Wis., Huibregtse played one year of soccer and football in high school. He’s also a member of the FU hockey team.

“I was fortunate to have good holds and good snaps,” he said. “Adrian Saterstad really got the ball up and Jake (Price) spotted it just right.”

For the longest time, it appeared the locals would need the kicking game to pull out a win as the Eagles made a game of it for three quarters.

In fact, it wasn’t until Huibretsge nailed a 36-yard FG with 1 minute, 9 seconds left in the third quarter that Finlandia had the lead for good.

‘We had to show some character in the second half,” Driscoll said. “They (Eagles) played a very good first half. They came to play.”

The game started on a positive note for the locals when Josh Eve returned the kickoff 59 yards to the visitor’s 17-yard line.

Quarterback De’Llontae Johnson covered the final 6 yards with a run.

But RM-P stormed right back behind quarterbacks Jordan Cruse and Jordan Hursey to take a 13-7 lead.

Tyler Kangas of the Lions got two points back when he returned a fumble on the 2-point try 98 yards for a 13-9 reading.

But a 58-yard pass interception was returned for a score by James Washington of the Eagles in the second period and it was 20-9.

Huibretsge’s field goals of 33 and 22 yards narrowed it to 20-15 by the intermission.

After two more field goals by Huibretsge moved the Lions ahead in the third quarter, Eve caught a 16-yard scoring pass from Johnson for a 30-20 lead.

Taylor Bonetti added a 10-yard scoring run early in the final stanza for a 37-20 margin.

Johnson, who had a productive day, then found junior fullback Dillon Hueckstaedt with a 10-yard TD pass. The score was the third in as many games for the Baraga High product. 

Eve had a stellar day for the winners, latching on to five receptions for 55 yards.

“Josh Eve did a nice job today. He goes up for catches and had a couple of outstanding ones,” Driscoll noted. “He’s kind of our speed receiver.”

The versatile Kangas led the Lions with five catches for 60 yards. Bonetti also had a good day, intercepting one pass and playing at three different positions.

Freshman end Caleb Scroggs (L’Anse) led the team with 11 tackles, while Ronnie Keener chipped in 10 more with one and half sacks.

Now 2-2 on the season, the Lions will finish their abbreviated season with a pair of games versus Trinity Bible — the first this coming Saturday at home.

“That team (Trinity) beat us twice last season,” Driscoll said. “So, we’ll have some incentive.”

RM-Peoria 13 7 0 0 – 20

Finlandia 7 8 15 14 – 42

First quarter

FU – De’Llontae Johnson 6 run (Avery Huibretsge kick)

RM – Jordan Hursey 4 run (kick good)

RM – Williams 35 pass from Hursey (kick blocked)

FU – Tyler Kangas ret. fumble for safety

Second quarter

RM – James Washington 53 pass int. (kick good)

FU – Huibretsge 33 FG

FU – Huibretsge 22 FG

Third quarter

FU – Huibretsge 22 FG 

FU – Huibretsge 36 FG

FU – Josh Eve 16 pass from Johnson (Huibretsge kick)

Fourth quarter

FU – Taylor Bonetti 10 run (Huibretsge kick)

FU – Dillon Hueckstaedt 10 pass from Johnson (Hubretsge kick)