The big game of the week lived up to its billing. One of only three games in week four to be decided by single digits, Kingsford (4-1) edged Menominee (4-1) 14-13 in a game that could very well decide the Great Northern Conference title.
The Flivvers now have the inside track with games remaining against No. 5 Marquette (4-1) (Friday), Gladstone (2-3) and Escanaba (2-3).
Kingsford vaulted up to No. 2 from a No. 3 ranking last week, while Menominee fell two spots to No. 3.
Taking over the top spot was Ishpeming (5-0), which routed Norway 46-6. After a week six matchup against Laona-Wabeno, Wis. at home, the big test will come in week seven, when the Hematites travel to No. 4 Negaunee (5-0) in a game that will likely decide the Mid-Peninsula conference title.
The Little Five poll remains as contentious as ever with five 5-0 teams making up the poll and much debate as to which one is the best.
No. 3 North Dickinson (5-0) routed Bark River-Harris (0-5) 40-0 and has outscored its opponents 226-48 this season, a mark skewed by the 30 points the Nordics gave up to Stephenson (3-2) in week four.
UPSSA FOOTBALL POLL
Ishpeming (5) (5-0) 25
kingsford (4-1) 20
Menominee (4-1) 14
Negaunee (5-0) 11
Marquette (4-1) 5
St. Ignace (2) (5-0) 22
Forest Park (2) (5-0) 21
North Dickinson (1) (5-0) 17
L'Anse (5-0) 9
Pickford (5-0) 2
Rapid River (4) (5-0) 24
Cedarville (1) (5-0) 21
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Poll is conducted by a five-member panel for the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. First place votes follow team name.
Still, the Nordics have been second fiddle behind No. 1 St. Ignace (5-0) and No. 2 Forest Park (5-0) all season.
The Saints took care of business in week five, bulldozing Rogers city 54-0. St. Ignace has outscored its opponents 199-6, with three of their four games (one week was a forfeit) coming via shutout. However, questions remain as to the strength of their opponents thus far. After a week six matchup against Fife Lake Forest Area, the Saints travel to No. 5 Pickford (5-0) in week seven in a game that will go a long way toward clearing up the division-8 poll picture.
Pickford handily defeated Pellston (4-1) in week five, perhaps removing much doubt as to the validity of their ranking. Still, the Panthers sit in fifth behind No. 4 L'Anse (5-0). The Purple Hornets have no doubt played a weaker schedule thus far but are taking care of business. In week five, L'Anse ran over Baraga (0-5) 49-0. The Purple Hornets can punch their playoff ticket next week with a win at Ironwood (2-3) and likely won't be tested until week eight when they host Northland Pines (4-1).
No. 2 Forest Park got out to a red-hot start against North Central (3-2), leading 29-0 after the first quarter en route to a 49-14 victory. The Trojans who already have a victory over Hurley, Wis. (3-2) play in the game of the week as they travel to North Dickinson, which should give some consensus next week as to who the No. 1 team is.
Another key game will played Friday when Eight-player powers No. 1 Rapid River (5-0) and No. 2 Cedarville (5-0) clash in a game that will could decide the Bridge Alliance Conference. Both dispatched of quality opponents in week five. The Rockets nearly short-circuited the scoreboard in a wild 60-40 victory over Engadine (2-2) while Cedarville raised eyebrows with a 42-14 thrashing of previously unbeaten Superior Central (4-1). The Rockets face Superior Central in Eben in week seven, wrapping up a tough three-game stretch.