Miners(7-1) Dominate Redmen(5-2) 38-14; Claim Diamond Jubilee Trophy
The Diamond Jubilee Trophy set at mid-field in Negaunee
NEGAUNEE, MI – The Negaunee Miners bounced back from their first loss of the season last Friday night by taking their frustrations out on an overwhelmed Marquette Redmen team. The Miners exploded offensively racking up 425 yards on the ground and adding 18 through the air. Tyler LaJoie responded to his lackluster performance in Ishpeming with a staggering 211 yards rushing on twelve carries and scoring FOUR touchdowns on the night. Tyler Windahl & Ryan Syrjals also got into the mix as they rushed for 80- & 44- yards respectively, the latter scoring the only other touchdown for the Miners. Once Marquette wasn’t able to key on just LaJoie, they had no chance of slowing down Negaunee’s attack. It wasn’t just the big-names that did the work for the Miners either, as Zak Harsila, Ethan Ledford, and Kevin O’Keefe combined for 77 yards on 13 combined carries.
Just as Ishpeming avenged it’s only loss in 2012 last week, so did the Miners this week. Negaunee held the Redmen to just 227 yards of total offense, and just 95 on the ground. Once it became apparent that the Miners weren’t going to allow the Redmen to assemble any run game whatsoever, Marquette turned to a one-dimensional, pass-first offense that Negaunee took advantage of. Outside Linebackers Tyler Windahl & Austin Caya wreaked havoc in the Redmen backfield as they continuously pressured the Marquette quarterbacks. Negaunee did catch some fortunate breaks in this game, as starting quarterback Brett Place went down in the second quarter and never returned, leaving Marquette with their backup down by three scores. Also getting involved for the Miners was defensive tackle Jamie Collins, who shedded every block thrown at him and caused nothing but problems all night long for the Redmen offensive line.
This victory over Marquette marked the first time since 2009 that the Miners claimed the Diamond Jubilee Trophy from their non-conference rivals. It could possibly, however unlikely, also be the very last time that seniors Tyler LaJoie, Austin Caya, Tyler Windahl, Kevin O’Keefe, Zane Radloff, Tyler Jandron, and others suit up wearing their blue jerseys, as the selection committee will have to decide where Neguanee’s first playoff game will be held. If it is the last home game of the seniors’ carreer….they ended in a big way.
Coach Paul Jacobson (right) doing his post-game interview with Jesse (left) and myself (middle).
Negaunee will finish their season off in Westwood against a Patriots team that is coming off of a tough overtime loss against Manistique, that ended due to a blocked extra point. As mentioned above, Negaunee cannot overlook this team if they want a shot at a home playoff game. The difference between having one, two, or even three home playoff games can come down to one game like this. As for Westwood, this will undoubtedly be their proverbial “Bowl game” as they have no shot at a playoff birth, and are looking to get their seniors one last victory and spoil Negaunee’s chances in the playoffs.
Be sure to join my partner Jesse Anderson & myself as the Negaunee Miners travel to West Ishpeming to take on the Westwood Patriots. Kickoff is at 7pm EST and pre-game starts at 6:30. You can catch all of your Negaunee Miner football action streaming LIVE! on our website: Sunny.FM or on the radio at 101.9 SunnyFM. GO MINERS!
-Carl Leander Johnson