Calumet blanks Gwinn before weather nixes 2nd half
CALUMET — With two touchdowns scored before even getting a first down, the Calumet varsity football team dominated Gwinn 27-0 on Friday night at Agassiz Field in a game shortened to one half by inclement weather.
The Copper Kings (1-1) scored on the first play from scrimmage — a 55-yard touchdown run from junior Paul Sturos.
After forcing a Gwinn three-and-out, Calumet scored six again on the second play of the next possession when junior Dryden Nelson carried the ball 46 yards down the left sideline.
Just like that, after less than three minutes of play, Calumet led 13-0. The Kings padded their lead before the end of the first quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run that was set up by a 30-yard pass on the previous play from Sturos to senior Dean Loukus to put Calumet up 20-0.
“We have some big play capability athletes, and we saw that tonight,” said Calumet head coach John Croze. “We can hit you at any point with, with (many) athletes and I think we just showed how dangerous we can be.”
Gwinn (0-2) attempted an onside kick to start the game, recovered by Calumet for good field position. That was a trend that continued for the rest of the contest. Sturos’ TD run came with only 12 seconds run off of the clock, followed by a successful PAT kick. Gwinn then punted to set Calumet up on the Modeltowner 44. Calumet missed the kick on Nelson’s TD and led 13-0 with 9:17 left in the first quarter.
A good kickoff then put Gwinn deep in their own territory on the 14-yard line. An inability to move the ball and a penalty quickly put them on their own 1-yard line and forced another three-and-out. A bad snap on the ensuing punt from the end zone led to shanked ball and Calumet took over with great field position, this time on the Gwinn 28.
A pass from Sturos to Loukus gave Calumet first-and-goal from the 3-yard line. Then the Gwinn defense stiffened and stopped Calumet on third and fourth downs from the 1 to get the ball back on downs. But again the Modeltowners had to punt from behind their own goal line and the Kings took the ball at the Gwinn 36.
On the first play of Calumet’s fourth possession — the Kings never really had to put a drive together — Sturos hit Loukus with that long pass play and with one minute left in the first quarter, the Kings had scored 20 unanswered points and only had to run one play from their own side of midfield in the first frame.
Gwinn finally got a decent start off of a good kickoff return that put them at their own 40. The next play appeared to be a first down run into Calumet territory, but it was negated by an offensive penalty. The quarter ended and Gwinn was forced to punt again to start the second quarter, facing fourth-and-16.
Loukus’ return of that kick set Calumet up on the Gwinn side of the field yet again, this time at the 36. Calumet had their only bad series of the night then, taking a penalty on fourth-and-14 and throwing incomplete on fourth-and-19. So Gwinn took over on downs, but promptly fumbled the ball at their own 46, where Calumet recovered.
A penalty for blocking below the waist negated Nelson’s conversion run on third-and-2 in the next series, putting the Kings into a third and long situation. Sturos then hit Loukus with a pass towards the right sideline to bring up a makeable fourth-and-3 and Nelson scampered for 20 yards to get the first down.
Kings’ junior Jackson Rilei carried the ball to set up first-and-goal from the 3. Again, Gwinn played tough in short yardage and forced Calumet into fourth down after 2 runs for no gain and an incomplete pass. This time the Copper Kings cashed in through the air though, with a Sturos completion to Loukus with 3:20 left in the half to set the final score.
Gwinn produced a first down on their last possession, but the clock ran out before they threatened to spoil the shutout.
During halftime, coaches and officials convened to discuss shortening the contest due to thunderstorms moving into the area. The decision was made to stop the game and one player from each team came out onto the field to perform a perfunctory kickoff in order to start the third quarter and make the game official for MHSAA standings. That was the final play of the night. Lightning flashed within minutes of the game’s end.
Calumet was happy to even up their record after a 17-16 loss against Kingsford last week.
The Kings expect to play Hancock on Oct. 16 after the two-week sports shutdown for all Houghton County schools staring Monday.
Gwinn 0 0 — 0
Calumet 20 7 — 27
CHS — P. Sturos 55 run (PAT good), 11:48
CHS — Nelson 46 run (PAT failed), 9:17
CHS — 7 run (PAT good), 1:00
CHS — Loukus 3 pass from P. Sturos (PAT good), 3:20