ESCANABA - The Escanaba Eskymos were able to hang with the Menominee Maroons for a half Friday night, eventually the solid ground game of Menominee broke things wide open. No. 3 ranked Menominee outscored the Eskymos 21-7 in the second half en-route to a 42-17 Great Northern Conference victory.
Escanaba played fairly tight defense, limiting Menominee to scores on extended drives made up of short distance plays in the first two quarters.
The score was within reaching distance at 14-10 with 0:58 remaining in the second quarter, when the Maroons capped off a 62-yard drive with a 21 yard pass from Justin Brilinski to Devon Harris to put their team up 21-10 heading into halftime.
Justin Marietti | Daily Press
Escanaba's David Falish looks for room to run during their game against Menominee Friday night.
The Eskymos got shut down on the first drive of the third quarter, leading to a punt and a Menominee drive that ended with a 57-yard touchdown pass, again from Brilinski to Harris.
The Maroons defense forced another punt, and found the end zone on a 44-yard run by James Brown. He fumbled the ball as he approached the end zone, but it was recovered by the Maroons and ran in for a touchdown to make it 35-10.
Less than two minutes later, the Maroons scored again when Brilinski broke in with a 1-yard run to begin the fourth quarter.
Escanaba began chipping away at Menominee's defense for one last offensive stand. They finished a 13-play drive with a 6-yard touchdown run by David Falish with 5:26 remaining.
The Maroons ran out the clock with their final possession, taking it 42-17 and improving to 5-1.
"We came off of a tough loss last week in Kingsford, and they came back Monday pretty angry," said Menominee coach Joe Noha. "They came out and proved that they want to have a great season, and they've been focused on doing just that."
Escanaba coach Jim Hansen enjoyed the performance he got from his team, despite the losing effort.
"I thought we played well," he said. "The scoreboard doesn't reflect that we actually played better than last week. We were stiffer tonight.
"They made big plays more than we did, and were more consistent than we were."
Hansen added that his team gets better every week, and their hard work and discipline was reflected by their attitude Friday night.
"They played hard tonight and never quit," he said.
Escanaba (2-4) resumes Friday when they head to Gladstone (2-4).