Prep football: Munising clinches playoff spot, Negaunee shuts out Westwood
MUNISING – Down 10-0 to L’Anse late in the second quarter Friday night, the Munising High School football team looked like gaining an automatic bid to the postseason playoffs was not in the cards.
But coach Jeff Seaberg’s Mustangs tied the game in the final 53 seconds of the half and went on to post a 17-10 non-conference triumph over the visiting Purple Hornets to qualify for district tournament play.
“It feels great,” Seaberg said after his club had improved to 6-3 on the season with its sixth straight win. “We didn’t want(Thursday) to be our last practice of the season.”
A 36-yard field goal by Ryan LaBerge and a 3-yard touchdown run by Jimmy Veker gave L’Anse (7-2) a 10-0 lead.
But Munising’s Alex Hill caught a 60-yard TD pass from quarterback Austin Kelto with 53 seconds left in the half, then Andy Cooper kicked a 41-yard field goal with one second remaining to forge a 10-10 halftime tie.
“The kids were a little shell-shocked at first,” Seaberg said, “but they held together and battled back. We had a couple of fortunate turnovers at the end of the half that we capitalized on.”
Kelto notched the winning touchdown in the third quarter on a 4-yard run.
“Our defense is what kept us in it,” Seaberg said. “They did an excellent job the entire game and kept L’Anse in check.”
Cody Hayes led Munising on the ground with 75 yards on 14 carries.
Kelto wound up completing 3-of-6 passes for 72 yards.
Negaunee 41, Westwood 0
At Westwood Friday, Tyler LaJoie ran for 245 yards on just 11 carries and scored four touchdowns as Negaunee High School blanked the host Patriots, 41-0, in Mid-Peninsula Conference football action.
LaJoie scored on runs of 65, 78 and four yards. He also caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Syrjala for the Miners (8-1, 5-1).
“It was mainly LaJoie,” Westwood head coach John Jessen said. “He ran all over the field.
“He’s a tough runner who’s hard to bring down and broke the game open.”
Syrjala added a 13-yard TD run and teammate Kevin O’Keefe chipped in 1-yard scoring burst.
Marquise Baggiore led the Patriots (2-7, 2-4) with 25 yards rushing in eight carries.
“We had a good first (offensive) drive, but Negaunee’s a big, physical team that gave us fits,” Jessen said.