Esky re-takes No. 1 spot in latest poll
ESCANABA — The Escanaba Eskymos are back on top — at least in the poll.
After going on the road and taking down second-ranked Menominee 26-20 with their backup quarterback and no head coach for the second half Thursday, the Eskymos are ranked No. 1 in the large school division in the latest U.P. football poll voted on by the Upper Peninsula Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association for the first time since the first poll came out Sept. 17.
Esky, which was previously No. 3, was also helped out by previous-No. 1 Calumet suffering its first loss of the season to Iron Mountain Friday. The Eskymos received six of the seven first-place votes, with Calumet getting the other. The Copper Kings fell to No. 2.
Menominee dropped just one spot to No. 3, Negaunee moved up to No. 4, and Westwood entered the poll for the first time at No. 5. Marquette dropped out for the first time after falling 28-25 at home to Alpena and dropping to 2-4 on the season.
To nobody’s surprise, Iron Mountain remains the unaminous No. 1 in the small school division after taking down Calumet, and West Iron County remains a solid No. 2 after upending No. 5 Lake Linden-Hubbell. The only change is Ishpeming overtaking L’Anse for the No. 3 spot following a 36-30 overtime win over Gwinn. L’Anse is No. 4 after falling 36-14 to Negaunee.
North Central remains the clear-cut No. 1 in the eight-player poll after topping third-ranked Forest Park 34-8 and all but locking up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The rest of the poll remains the same, with Pickford at No. 2, Engadine at No. 4 and Cedarville at No. 5. Rapid River is just barley on the outside looking in, but has a chance to change that when it visits Engadine Thursday.
In the Associated Press state poll, Esky moved up one spot to No. 7 in Division 4 and North Central remained No. 2 in eight-player.