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WITH GALLERY: Calumet routs Negaunee in pre-district

Copper Kings wait for next opponent: Maroons or Patriots

Calumet's Peter Larson (15) tries to escape a tackle by Negaunee's Will Luke (14) during a MHSAA Division 6 pre-district on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — A cold, wet and snowy Friday night at Agassiz Field was not able put the chill on the red hot Calumet Copper Kings as they rolled 42-14 past the Negaunee Miners in MHSAA Division 6 pre-district action.

It was the second meeting between these two teams and not much had changed since they first battled early in September. The Copper Kings won that one as well 30-6.

“It was a great win for us,” said Calumet head coach John Croze. “It has been a great rivalry now going on for about 10 years and I thought our guys played outstanding.”

The Copper Kings will host the winner of Westwood versus Menominee. Whoever it is, Croze said he and his team will be ready.

“We are looking to have another great football game on Agassiz Field next weekend,” he said.

Calumet's Nick Djerf (18) makes an interception against Negaunee during a MHSAA Division 6 pre-district on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Given the history, Negaunee head coach Paul Jacobson knew what to expect heading into Friday. However, the Copper Kings defense gave the Miners fits all night long.

“Calumet is just tough up and down the line,” he said. “(Alex) Studebaker gave us trouble all night and we just could not generate any offense. That really knocked the wind out of our sails. We had our opportunities but we just didn’t capitalize on the plays we needed to make.”

The Copper Kings stuck with the running game throughout the night. Of their 379 total yards, 321 came on the ground. They got on the scoreboard first at the 6:19 mark in the first quarter when senior quarterback Scott Loukus ended a 50-plus yard drive with a 10-yard dash into the end zone. A two-point conversion failed.

The Copper Kings started the second quarter with a touchdown at the 10:55 mark. Sophomore Dryden Nelson found a hole in the Negaunee defense and went 72 yards for the score. They failed again on the two-point conversion. Nelson led the Copper Kings in rushing with 146 yards on six carries — 24.3 yards per carry.

Scott Loukus scored his second touchdown of the night five minutes later. It was a 10-yard run in from the red zone. A minute later, he carried it in for the two point conversion to make the score 20-0.

Calumet's Dryden Nelson (36) looks on during a MHSAA Division 6 pre-district against Negaunee on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

With a minute left in the half the Copper Kings made it 28-0 as Scott Loukus hit receiver Dean Loukus for a 29-yard touchdown pass. Scott Loukus ran in the two-point conversion.

Croze said he was very pleased with the play of his defense as they had shut out Negaunee’s offense through the first half.

“It was a great effort by our defense tonight,” he said. “They were outstanding.”

The Copper Kings defense limited the Miners to just 196 yards of total offense.

“I thought we were gave Negaunee’s offense a lot of trouble as they had a tough time moving the ball,” Croze said. “That then gave our offense a lot of opportunities to punch the ball into the end zone.”

Negaunee's Erik Salminen can't catch a pass during a MHSAA Division 6 pre-district against Calumet on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

The second half looked a lot like the first as the Copper Kings continued to dominate on both sides of the ball. However Negaunee finally scored late in the third quarter. Miners quarterback Jason Waterman hit receiver Alex Munson with a 23-yard pass. The point after by kicker Erik Salminen was good.

Waterman was 5 of 12 passing for 124 yards in the game.

The Miners scored again at the start of the fourth quarter. Waterman completed a 70-yard pass to Salminen who carried it in for six points. Salminen added the extra point.

Calumet also posted 14 points in the second half. Will Twardzik had a 6-yard touchdown run in the third and Nelson had his second touchdown run in the fourth. He topped it off with a two-point conversion run.

Negaunee 0 0 7 7 — 14

Calumet's Scott Loukus, center, celebrates his touchdown with teammates during a MHSAA Division 6 pre-district against Negaunee on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet 6 22 6 8 — 42

The Calumet High School student section cheers during a MHSAA Division 6 pre-district against Negaunee on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet's Dryden Nelson (36) rushes against Negaunee during a MHSAA Division 6 pre-district on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

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