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Prep Football: Copper Kings oust Maroons for district title

Calumet hosts Maple City Glen Lake in rematch of 2016 regional defeat

Calumet quarterback Scott Loukus (12) scores a touchdown during a MHSAA Division 6 district final against Menominee on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — After three quarters of football, the magic number for the Calumet Copper Kings seemed to be four.

They had earned four possessions, scored four touchdowns and capitalized on all four of their two-point conversions in Division 6 Region 1 District1 championship play against the Menominee Maroons

Calumet added a fifth touchdown and a field goal in the fourth quarter and seal the title with a 39-14 win.

“I am very proud of these guys,” said Calumet head coach John Croze. “I can’t say enough about this team as they’ve earned another week of play on our home field.”

The Copper Kings host Maple City Glen Lake at 1 p.m. Saturday at Agassiz Field. Croze said the Copper Kings are seeking revenge against the Lakers as they lost 14-0 to them in a regional final in 2016.

Calumet's Caden Lehto (22) recovers a fumble during the first quarter a MHSAA Division 6 district final against Menominee on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

“It was great game then, and I expect it to be another great one next week,” Croze said. “It will be good for a team from downstate to come up here and see what we have to deal with in playing football in November.”

The Copper Kings opened against Menominee with a 76-yard drive that ended in a two-yard Jaden Gariepy touchdown run. A minute later he did it again for the two-point conversion.

Calumet got the ball right back as they executed a squib kick that bounced off a Maroon players and right back into the hands of the Copper Kings. The first quarter turned into the second and Menominee had not had an offensive snap.

With just two minutes into the second quarter, the Gariepy got his second touchdown of the day with another short run into the end zone and the Copper Kings converted again on the two-point conversion.

The Maroons would muster their first score of the game at the 4:27 mark in the second as their quarterback Brendon Harris snuck in for six on a 10-yard scramble.

Calumet head coach John Croze address the team after defeating Menominee 39-14 in a MHSAA Division 6 district final on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

However, the Copper Kings showed no mercy and answered with another eight points of their own thanks to a quarterback sneak by Scott Loukus. As the teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime, the Copper Kings led 24-8.

Calumet returned to the field in the third quarter and continued their strong play. At the 10:37 mark, they jumped on a Maroon fumble and turned into a touchdown six minutes later when Loukus hit wide receiver Will Twardzik with a 14-yard pass deep in the end zone. That was followed by a successful two-point conversion.

With just seconds remaining in the third, the Maroons would get their second and final touchdown of the game. Senior running back Keagan monroe pushed his way past the goal line for six points.

Midway through the fourth, Calumet’s Nick Djerf completed the Copper King’s scoring with a 10-yard dash into the end zone It was followed by a Thomas Erkkila field goal to cap the score 39-14.

The Copper Kings had 331 yards of total offense compared to just 188 yards for the Maroons. As well, Calumet controlled the ball for close to 35 minutes while the Menominee had it for only 13. The Copper Kings committed no penalties while the Maroons had two.

Calumet's Peter Larson (15) battles Menominee's Brendon Harris (20) during a MHSAA Division 6 district final on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

“I am proud of how our guys stood up to a very powerful Menominee team on both sides of the ball,” Croze said. “They did a great job of keeping our offense out on the field. Our defense played outstanding as well. We have fun playing football — win or lose. That’s our world. We play it well, and we like being together. Now we have one more week to do it.”

Menominee 0 8 6 0 — 14

Calumet 8 16 8 7 — 39

First Quarter

C — Gariepy 2 run (2-point conversion), 4:16

Menominee's Keagan Monroe (21) rushes as Calumet's Peter Larson (15) pursues during a MHSAA Division 6 district final on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Second Quarter

C — Gariepy 1 run (2-point conversion), 10:32

M — Harris 10 run (2-point conversion), 4:11

C — S. Loukus 4 run (2-point conversion), 0:29

Third Quarter

Calumet's Alex Studebaker looks on during a MHSAA Division 6 district final against Menominee on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

C — Twardzik 14 pass from S. Loukus (2 point conversion), 3:45

M — Monroe 5 run (2-point failed), 0:03

Fourth Quarter

C — Djerf 10 run (Erkkila kick), 3:22

Calumet's Peter Larson (15) runs to the locker room after a MHSAA Division 6 district final against Menominee on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. The Copper Kings won 39-14. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet's Caden Lehto (22) recovers a fumble during the first quarter a MHSAA Division 6 district final against Menominee on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet's Jarod Stacey (73) runs to the locker room after a MHSAA Division 6 district final against Menominee on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. The Copper Kings won 39-14. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet quarterback Scott Loukus (12) scores a touchdown during a MHSAA Division 6 district final against Menominee on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

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