Miners Finish Season 8-1 After Defeating Westwood; Will Face Indian River-Inland Lakes(6-3) Saturday at 1pm
NEGAUNEE, MI - The Negaunee Miners finished their season in a big way last Friday night, as they took care of business on the road against the Patriots. In their last two games, the Miners combined to score 79 points while holding their opponents to just 14. Coming into the game on Friday, the Miners were a large favorite, and they played like they were an underdog. The defense was flying around, the offensive line was creating holes large enough for B.J. Raji to run through, and the skill players were flying down the field. Tyler LaJoie once again dazzled the audience as he scored on his first two plays on runs of 65- & 75-yards respectively. He finished the game with 245-yards and added two more touchdowns. Once the game began to get out of hand Coach Jacobsons (Paul & Kevin) decided to have a little bit of fun, putting in players who don’t often get the ball. Senior Kevin O’Keefe, who starts at Cornerback for the defense, got the ball handed to him on a first & goal, scoring his first touchdown of the season.
Negaunee will now host the Indian River-Inland Lakes Bulldogs who finished their season 6-3 on SATURDAY at 1PM. Neither team had the hardest strength of schedule as Inland Lakes combined opponent’s records were 38-42, and the Miner’s were 28-52. However, when facing opponents who finished the season above .500, the Miners were 1-1, where the Bulldogs were 1-3. The Miners should have huge advantage as Inland Lakes has to travel around four hours to take on the Miners. Waking up at 6am vs 9am could possibly be the difference in the game.
The things Negaunee will have to do to win are very simple:
- Feed Tyler LaJoie. The kid had 245 yards on 11 carries last week. Get it to him early & often.
- Syrjala & Windahl have to be effective. While LaJoie has the potential to star, he can’t be the only option. Syrjala has really picked up his running abilities as the season progresses, and Tyler Windahl is as solid a fullback as there in in the U.P.
- Attack. This is a team none of the Miner players have seen before. They cannot hesitate on defense. They have to trust their reads and attack the runners.
If Negaunee can maintain their discipline & focus, they should advance to the second round of the playoffs. Be sure to join Jesse Anderson & Myself as the Negaunee Miners will take on the Inland Lakes Bulldogs in the first round of the MHSAA Division-VI playoffs. Tune into SunnyFM on 101.9FM or listen LIVE! on our website: Sunny.FM. Kickoff is at 1pm and pre-game starts at 12:30. GO MINERS!
-Carl Leander Johnson