Overpowering: Calumet tops Houghton, 35-12

Calumet’s quarterback Aksel Loukus (26) hands the ball off to running back Brayden Nelson (36) in the second quarter of the Copper Kings’ game against the Houghton Gremlins on Friday. (Eddie O’Neill/Daily Mining Gazette)

CALUMET — In a WestPAC football game between Houghton and Calumet that many thought could go either way prior to opening kickoff, it went just one way on Friday. The Calumet Copper Kings downed the Gremlins at home, 35-12.

“We played physical, and we did what we needed to do to beat a good football team,” said Calumet coach Josh Frantti. “Our goal was to come right at them from the start and we did a good job at that.”

Calumet’s quarterback Aksel Loukus got the Copper Kings on the scoreboard less than five minutes into the game. He took the ball from the snap and ran it 48 yards for a touchdown. Xander Hofman kicked the extra point and the Copper Kings (4-3) led 7-0. Hofman was a perfect 5-5 on extra points for the night.

Houghton (5-2) suffered a devastating blow early in the game with the loss of their top running back, Kyle Primeau, who suffered an ankle injury. To this point in the season, he had been the Gremlins go-to guy on the ground, and his loss was felt.

“That was a big deal because we run our offense around him,” said Gremlins’ coach Micah Stipech. “This game came down to injuries and turnovers for us. But that is high school football. In terms of injuries, no one has the depth to lose someone like a Kyle (Primeau) and have someone else jump in right away. We aren’t there.”

The Copper Kings went on to score twice more in the second thanks to the running skills of Amar Patterson. On 21 attempts, Patterson ran for 161 yards. This included four of Calumet’s five touchdowns.

“Amar had a great game,” noted coach Frantti. “His pick-off touchdown run in the third sealed the deal for the win.”

Houghton finally got on the scoreboard to end the second quarter thanks to a 47-yard pass play from their quarterback Camden Markham to Gaborik Carlson to make a 21-6 Copper Kings’ tilt at halftime.

“At half, I told the guys to be ready to change. We knew Houghton would adjust,” Frantti said. We needed to keep doing what we were doing, and we would come out on top.”

The Copper Kings did come out on top with two more Patterson touchdowns in the fourth.

Calumet totaled 381 total yards of offense. Houghton had just 236. All of Calumet’s yardage was on the ground, while Houghton ran for just 100 yards and threw for 136.

The Gremlins had four turnovers and the Copper Kings just two. As well, Houghton amassed 35 yards in penalties while Calumet tallied 30. All of this obviously was not in Stipech’s gamebook plan.

“We are disappointed,” he said. “We feel like we are a better team than what we showed tonight. Calumet had a game plan. They made adjustments and had a lot of good things going. They didn’t make the mistakes that we did.”

Friday’s matchup against Houghton was Calumet’s last home game of the season and, according to Frantti, a good one to go out on.

“It was our seniors’ last game at home, and they stepped up and played and led out team to a big win.”

Up next

The Copper Kings hit the road to Hancock to take on the Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 14, at McAfee Field. The Gremlins are at home on Friday as they welcome the Negaunee Miners.


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