Hancock falls short of spoiling IM homecoming in 28-18 loss
IRON MOUNTAIN — Junior fullback Bradon Farragh scored two touchdowns and quarterback Joe Colavecchi threw a touchdown pass and returned an interception for a score as Iron Mountain defeated Hancock 28-18 in a West PAC game Friday.
It was the Mountaineers’ first home game since the third week of the season — after playing four consecutive road games — as well as homecoming. The Iron Mountain defense was stingy, allowing the Bulldogs only 10 rushing yards until Chad Nordstrom broke free for a 93-yard touchdown with 1:13 remaining.
No matter where Hancock attacked, the Mountaineers’ defensive front was a wall throughout the game.
“Defensively we played well, across the board,” Iron Mountain head coach Robin Marttila said. “We knew they were going to pass the ball, credit to our defensive backs who stepped up and made plays.”
At the 5:22 mark of the opening quarter, Colavecchi threw a short screen pass towards the IM sideline to Luke Wolfe. The sophomore powered 45 yards to give the Mountaineers the lead for good.
Near the end of the opening quarter, the Mountaineers got the ball into the red zone for the first time, with Farragh reaching paydirt.
Bulldogs junior Vandan Jacques intercepted a Colavecchi pass in the second quarter.
“I thought based off of what we saw on film, that we’d be able to run right at them, but they took that away from us right away,” said Bulldogs head coach Ramon Sague. “We weren’t able to sustain any offense or get any first downs until late in the game.”
After a scoreless second quarter, Colavecchi extended Iron Mountain’s lead to 21-0 when he stepped in front of a Brad Johnson pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown.
“That pick-six was a back-breaker,” Sague said. “At 14-0, I didn’t feel we were out of the game, but once it’s 21-0, thats harder to overcome. The Iron Mountain kid (Colavecchi) made a great play on the ball there.”
Early in the final quarter, the teams traded turnovers with the Bulldogs scooping up a Mountaineers fumble. Three plays into Hancock’s ensuing drive, IM sophomore Matthew Colavecchi intercepted Johnson, giving the Mountaineers great field position.
With 7:31 remaining, Farragh scored his second touchdown, this one from 6 yards out to give the Mountaineers a 28-0 lead.
“Our offense made enough plays for us to win tonight, however, we have some things to clean up,” Marttila added. “I am happy for the Homecoming win, it’s exciting for the kids, and they’ll enjoy it the rest of the weekend.”
Johnson caught the Mountaineers defense off guard with a 33-yard touchdown strike to Easton Sintkowski, which trimmed the Mountaineers’ lead to 28-6. The Mountaineers recovered Hancock’s onside kick, but didn’t move the ball, punting it back to the Bulldogs who took over deep in their own territory.
Nordstrom raced down the visitors sideline, shedding tacklers to make the score 28-12. The Bulldogs then recovered an onside kick.
With :07 remaining, Johnson found Nordstrom from 6 yards out to make the score 28-18 Mountaineers. Hancock attempted a third onside kick, but the ball was recovered by Iron Mountain senior Preston Roberts.
“We got soft at the end of the game, they made some plays and made things interesting,” Marttila said. “Hancock is a scrappy team, they played hard and are tough-nosed kids. They have some athletes that can make some plays.”
The Bulldogs (3-4) travel to Calumet on Friday night for a West PAC Copper Division game.
“I am proud of the way our boys never gave up and played hard all the way to the end of the game,” Sague said. “Let’s not quit and keep playing hard. we had fun tonight, which is great, football is supposed to be fun.”
Iron Mountain (4-3), who remains home for the remainder of the regular season, entertains Ishpeming in a West PAC crossover game on Friday night, before facing Manistique on Oct. 22 to conclude the regular season.
HCHS 0 0 0 18 — 18
IMHS 14 0 7 7 — 28
IMHS — Wolfe 45 pass from J. Colavecchi (Farragh kick), 5:22.
IMHS — Farragh 2 run (Brdon Farragh kick), 1:07
IMHS — Colavecchi 34 interception return (Farragh kick), 9:08.
IMHS — Farragh 6 run (Farragh kick), 7:31.
HCHS — Sintkowski 33 pass from Johnson (Kick failed), 6:53.
HCHS — Nordstrom 93 run (2-point conversion failed), 1:13.
HCHS — Nordstrom 6 pass from Johnson (2-point conversion failed), :07.