Negaunee Jumps on Boyne City Turnovers to Advance to Third Round Showdown in Ithaca
Negaunee defeated Boyne City 42-19 last Friday night in the Division-6 district title game.
MARQUETTE, MI – It was a 6-6 game late in the second quarter when Negaunee had the ball on a fourth & 18 at the Boyne City 23-yardline. Ryan Syrjala took the snap and rolled left running their trademarked option, with nowhere to go, he about-faced and tried to bring it up the field in a different direction. It looked like the game was heading to halftime tied 6-6 as there was a lone defender chasing down Syrjala in the backfield was closing in…..that was until he met Jeremy Bell. The defender didn’t even see Bell coming, as he chased Syrjala down Bell laid a hit on him that was heard ’round the Superior Dome. That led to a 22-yard run, followed by a touchdown from Syrjala the very next play, giving Negaunee a 12-6 halftime lead. As my partner Jesse Anderson & myself said at that very moment: “If Negaunee goes on to win this game, THAT will be the turning point.” And so it was.
Boyne City came out in the third quarter rattled. They turned the ball over on four straight times on two fumbles, a failed 4th & 8, and a botched kickoff leading Negaunee to take a 34-6 lead before the Ramblers knew what hit them. As I said during the broadcast, that HUGE hit by Bell was the game’s turning point. Negaunee went on to outscore Boyne City 36-13 from there on out. Tylers LaJoie, Windahl, and Jandron all contributed in big ways. LaJoie ran in two touchdowns from 30- & 71-yards out. Windahl recovered the first Boyne City fumble, then scored on the very next play from 22 yards out. Lastly, Tyler Jandron threw some key blocks on the outside, had a 30+ yard touchdown run, and capped his big night with an 81-yard touchdown reception late in the third quarter.
Negaunee will need that kind of play from their studs this Saturday as they take on the Ithaca Yellowjackets. Ithaca is currently tied for the longest active win streak in the nation at 51-straight games (Regina in Iowa City, IA). Led by senior quarterback Travis Smith, who has never lost a game on varsity, and is a finalist for Michigan’s football player of the year award, the Yellowjackets have rolled teams all season long. They’ve outscored their opponents a combined 586-52, never scoring less than 36-points, or allowing another team to break 15. It sure looks to be a great game as both teams are playing to keep their seasons alive. Ithaca is seeking their fourth straight state title, and Negaunee is hoping to get past the third round of the playoffs for the first time since their own state-title days.
The game will take place at 1:00pm on Saturday afternoon down in Ithaca. Tickets will be on sale starting Thursday from 7:00am – 3:30am for $6. There will also be a fan bus that leaves Negaunee at 5:00am on Saturday and will return immediately following the game. Tickets for the bus, which includes admission, will be $55 per person.
Be sure to tune into FM101.9 SunnyFM or catch it streaming LIVE on our website Sunny.FM as the Negaunee Miners will attempt to take down the Ithaca Yellowjackets. As always, my partner Jesse Anderson & I will have the call. Pre-game is at 12:30PM and kickoff is at 1:00. GO MINERS!
-Carl Leander Johnson