Houghton takes down Iron Mountain, 21-14

Iron Mountain’s Luke Decker, left, defends as Houghton running back Raymond Shaw rushes on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Houghton, MIch. (Eddie O’Neill/The Daily Mining Gazette)

HOUGHTON — After having 52 points scored on them in the first week of the season, Gremlins’ head coach Micah Stipech and his crew vowed never again would that many points be tallied against them.

“We resolved to not be out hit by another team this year,” he said.

Two weeks later that resolution has held true as the Gremlins moved to 2-1 on the season with a 21-14 win over Iron Mountain on Saturday.

“I felt like we were physical, and that was a big part of our win,” Stipech said.

On the Gremlins first possession, they scored at the seven-minute mark. Quarterback Cam Markham snuck it in past the goal line on a three-yard run.

Houghton would score twice more in the second quarter. At fourth-and-7 Markham connected with Gaborik Carlson for a 15-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 Gremlins lead.

The Mountaineers (1-2) were determined not to go into the halftime without a score, and they didn’t. Just under the five-minute mark, running back Bradon Farragh scampered in for a nine-yard run. A minute later he kicked the extra point.

Less than a minute later, the Markham-Carlson connection shined again. Coming off the first play of the drive, Markham launched an 80-yard pass play to Carlson who brought it home for a touchdown. It was 21-7 at halftime.

“Cam can throw the ball,” Stipech said. “We are just scratching the surface with him. He’s accurate, and he throws the right kind of pass. He will grow in confidence with that has ability to hurt another team deep.”

After posting a third-quarter touchdown late in the third, Iron Mountain had other chances to tie the game. However, the Gremlins weren’t about to let them. They were determined, and it was seen in their swarming style of tackling. It wasn’t one Gremlin that was bringing a Mountaineer down — it was three or four.

Iron Mountain head coach Robin Marttila said the Gremlins’ defense was why the Mountaineers couldn’t build offensive momentum.

“Their defense was tough,” he said. “We couldn’t sustain a drive. We had opportunities, but we couldn’t make the plays.”

Stipech credits his players off-season training now paying off.

“You build confidence when you win one like this,” Stipech said. “I told them that all that work you put in over the summer pays off in stopping a fourth-quarter drive against an Iron Mountain. We are going to need that confidence moving forward.”

The Gremlins visit Bark River-Harris on Saturday.

IMHS 0 7 7 0 — 14

HHS 7 14 0 0 — 21

First Quarter

HHS — Markham 3 run (Shaw kick) 7:04

Second Quarter

HHS — Carlson 15 pass from Markham (Shaw kick) 7:03

IMHS — Farragh 9 run (Farragh kick) 4:46

HHS — Carlson 80 pass from Markham (Shaw kick) 4:32

Third Quarter

IMHS — Wolfe 29 pass from J. Colavecchi (M. Colavecchi kick) :18


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