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Esky mows down Maroons

Prep football

EagleHerald | Stephen Oman Escanaba’s Logan Carroll plunges into the end zone for a touchdown in the Eskymos’ 42-21 win over Menominee Friday at Walton Blesch Field in Menominee.

MENOMINEE — A 21-point second half lifted the Escanaba football team to a 42-21 win over Menominee Friday at Walton Blesch Field.

The win was the Eskymos first over the Maroons since 1998.

“The kids stepped up and executed,” Escanaba coach Dave Howes said. “I couldn’t be any more proud of the program and where we’ve come in the last three years.

“We played them well last year. We have some really good kids on our team, and I thought we had a great game plan going in.”

The game was tight in the first half, with the score tied 21-21 at halftime, but it hinged on the Maroons’ first possession of the second half.

Menominee drove inside the Escanaba 15-yard line, but the Maroons were stopped on fourth down, and the Eskymos took a lead they never gave back four plays later.

“That was the play of the game, the fourth down stop right after halftime,” Howes said.

Menominee fumbled twice and had a punt blocked, and Escanaba turned each of those miscues into touchdowns.

“Turnovers are never good, but Escanaba just beat us tonight,” Menominee coach Joe Noha said. “They wanted it more than we did. They just outplayed us, outcoached us and got it done.”

Menominee opened the scoring when Jacob Rivard reeled off a 17-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening drive. Rivard led the Maroons with 76 yards on nine carries.

The Maroon defense forced a punt on Esky’s first drive, but Menominee’s returner fumbled, setting up the Eskymos with good field position.

Two plays later, Logan Carroll took a handoff and scored on a 32-yard run. Crister Carne’s extra point tied the game 7-7.

That tie was shortlived, as Ethan Mileski returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good but Menominee led 13-7.

Early in the second quarter, Scout Wunder scampered 22 yards on a sweep for Escanaba’s second touchdown. Carne nailed the extra point to take a 14-13 lead.

“We stress taking care of the ball, and we took care of it tonight,” Howes said.

The Eskymos forced a punt on Menominee’s next drive, then blocked it and recovered near the line of scrimmage.

A 40-yard run by quarterback Craig Kamin set up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Kamin to Ryan Robinette to give Esky a 21-13 lead.

“They were very well prepared,” Noha said.

The Maroons ran on the first seven plays of the next drive to set up a 40-yard touchdown pass from Mileski to Brendon Harris. Mileski found Keagan Monroe for the two-point conversion to tie the game 21-21.

Mileski was 11 for 18 for 201 yards and one touchdown.

Menominee forced a three-and-out on the first possession of the second half and mounted a nine-play drive, but it ended when they came up just short on fourth down at the Escanaba 12-yard line.

“We knew they were athletic,” Noha said. “At 21-21 we had plenty of opportunities to score, but we got stopped, and they capitalized.

“At 21-21 we felt good about what we were going to do, but we didn’t do it and they did. As a result, they were victorious.”

Kamin got the Eskymos some breathing room with a 28-yard scramble before he hit Joshua Grassell for a 58-yard touchdown to give Esky the lead. Kamin was 5-9 passing for 129 yards and two touchdowns, and the touchdown reception made Grassell the Eskymos leading rushers.

Menominee fumbled on the ensuing possession, and Carroll punched in his second touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter to give Esky a 35-21 lead. Carroll had a game-high 94 rushing yards.

“We stress taking care of the ball, and we took care of it tonight,” Howes said.

Wunder scored on a 20-yard run with 5:45 remaining to put the game out of reach.

Escanaba’s defense pitched a second-half shutout.

“We cleaned a few things up a halftime, they hit some big pass plays on us (in the first half),” Howes said.

The milestone win fired up the sizable contingent of Esky fans, who celebrated with the team on the field after the win.

“We played them well last year,” Howes said. “We have some really good kids on our team, and I thought we had a great gameplan going in.”

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