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Football: Calumet runs past IM, 21-6

Calumet running back Dryden Nelson (36) rushes while being pursued by Iron Mountain defensive back Joe Colavecchi (4) on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — On Friday morning, the text messages circulated amongst the Calumet football coaching staff.

It didn’t look good.

Senior quarterback Paul Sturos had rolled his ankle in first-hour gym class Friday morning. He was on crutches, and out of Friday night’s game against Iron Mountain. His ankle was feared broken, and feared he was done for the season. But it turned out to be a sprain.

That left junior Hans Kiilunen to step in at quarterback and lead the Copper Kings.

Kiilunen did just that, as Calumet used a strong rushing attack to thwart Iron Mountain 21-6 in West PAC football Friday at Agassiz Field.

Calumet running back Dryden Nelson rushes against Iron Mountain on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

“Killunen did what we needed him to do and just did a great job running our offense,” Calumet head coach John Croze said. “He didn’t shy away from this job at all. He looked at it as a challenge, and a smile on his face, and a great job of it.”

The Copper Kings (4-2, 2-1) scored twice in the second quarter, while Iron Mountain’s offense struggled out of the gate.

Calumet had 281 yards of offense, including 277 rushing yards. Calumet took the leash off Kip Kangas, who ran for 155 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries (11.9 yards per carry). Kangas’ lone TD run was a 69-yard burst up the right sideline in the third quarter.

The Mountaineers (3-3, 2-3), on the other hand, didn’t gain a first down until the third quarter.

“We put a drive together to put some points on the board and they bust up a full dive the next series,” Iron Mountain head coach Robin Marttila said. “We just didn’t make enough plays. Calumet is a good football team and we knew that. They played better than us tonight. We’ll regroup and move on and try to finish the season strong.”

Iron Mountain junior running back Bradon Farragh (20) rushes for a touchdown in the third quarter against Calumet on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

The Mountaineers’ offense was stronger in the second half. IM mounted a drive midway through the third quarter that culminated with a 13-yard run by Bradon Farragh. His point-after try was blocked.

The second-half score was something good the Mountaineers could put on film before the game finished.

“We talked about that at halftime,” Marttila said. “You want to get a score on the board and we did that, but at the end of the day we just didn’t have enough of those plays to make it a game in the end.”

Dryden Nelson supplemented Calumet’s rushing attack with 101 yards on 19 carries (5.3 yards per carry). The offensive production made it easy in the pocket for Kiilunen, who completed 1 of 3 passes for four yards.

The Mountaineers ended the night with 68 rushing yards on 26 carries (2.6 yards per carry).

Iron Mountain running back Bradon Farragh (20) is tackled by Calumet’s Lenny Bjorn (56) and Nolan Sturos (15) on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Croze said Sturos will return to practice next week.

“Come to practice and see how hard we get after each other and put high expectations on everyone on our team to perform to the best of their ability. It doesn’t surprise me,” Croze said. “We still have to go through the emotion of losing Paul potentially for the year, but good thing it wasn’t a break and just a sprain. We expect him back next week. What Hans did today in terms of gaining experience and just the confidence, did a great job running our offense.”

The win springs momentum into the Copper Kings’ step for next week’s matchup at Houghton, while Iron Mountain hosts Hancock.

IMHS 0 0 6 0 — 6

CHS 0 14 7 0 — 21

Rain falls during a game between Calumet and Iron Mountain on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Second Quarter

CHS — N. Sturos 4 pass from Kiilunen (Erkkila kick), 9:45.

CHS — Nelson 28 run (Erkkila kick), 5:49.

Third Quarter

IMHS — Farragh 13 run (Farragh kick blocked), 6:43.

The Calumet High School student section celebrates after Calumet defeated Iron Mountain 21-6 on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

CHS — Kangas 69 run (Erkkila kick), 5:40.

Individual Statistics

RUSHING–IMHS, Farragh 13-49, Wolfe 7-22, M. Colavecchi 1-1, J. Colavecchi 5-(minus)-4. CHS, Kangas 13-155, D. Nelson 19-101, B. Nelson 1-9, Kiilunen 4-6, Erkkila 3-6.

PASSING–IMHS, J. Colavecchi 5-13-0-69. CHS, Kiilunen 1-3-0-4.

RECEIVING–IMHS, Decker 2-27, Wolfe 2-26, Roberts 1-16. CHS, N. Sturos 1-4.

Iron Mountain’s Luke Wolfe (18) runs after catching a pass as Calumet’s Alan Bjorn (44) attempts to make a tackle on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet assistant coach Josh Frantti, left, laughs with Troy Reuter and Frank Bonacorsi, foreground, during a game against Iron Mountain on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Iron Mountain head coach Robin Marttila looks on during a game against Calumet on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

The Calumet High School student section cheers a touchdown by Calumet against Iron Mountain on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet running back Dryden Nelson rushes against Iron Mountain on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Iron Mountain running back Bradon Farragh (20) rushes as Calumet defensive back Nolan Sturos (15) attempts to make a tackle on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

Calumet running back Dryden Nelson (36) rushes while being pursued by Iron Mountain defensive back Joe Colavecchi (4) on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, in Calumet, Mich. (Adam Niemi/The Daily Mining Gazette)

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