Prep football: Zhulkie powers Ishpeming past Westwood

ISHPEMING – Senior Bobby Zhulkie scored three second-quarter touchdowns and the Ishpeming defense came within three seconds of shutting out Westwood in the Hematites’ 41-6 home victory in a Mid-Peninsula Conference game played Friday evening.

Ishpeming (4-0 overall, 3-0 M-PC) built a 34-0 halftime lead and got a running clock put into effect less than two minutes into the third quarter.

Westwood got on the scoreboard with three seconds left when sophomore Brandon Benda hit the end zone from six yards out.

Before that, though, the Hematites dominated. Following senior quarterback Alex Briones’ 10-yard TD run near the midpoint of the first quarter, Zhulkie scored three times in just over nine minutes in the second period on runs of 5, 1 and 6 yards.

Zhulkie had only played defense the past two games due to a sprained knee.

Senior receiver Tyrus Millimaki added one more score 13 seconds before halftime on a 35-yard TD pass from Briones.

Ishpeming scored for the final time with 10:08 left in the third quarter on a 55-yard run by senior back Adam Prisk. A rare extra-point kick by Briones made it 41-0.

IHS coach Jeff Olson credited his defense for forcing a number of three-and-outs.

“I thought Westwood made it a little tough on us,” Olson said. “They came off the ball well. But our defense is versatile and has been playing a good game lately.”

Briones not only completed 5 of 8 passes for 138 yards and no interceptions, but he was the game’s leading rusher, earning 106 yards on 14 carries.

Overall, the Hematites held a 404-71 total yards advantage.

Westwood gained 58 yards on the ground, 41 on 17 rushes by senior back Derek Wing.