Emeralds fall short
Iron Mountain has owned the Emeralds on the grid iron, beating them all but once, officially dating back to 1998. Friday that streak was threatened by a determined Emerald team who, with a 3-2 record, found themselves sitting in unfamiliar territory – a playoff hunt.
Under the lights at A.F. Hall Stadium the Emeralds came close, and provided fans an entertaining contest while proving to be a worthy opponent. In the end, they let one slip away, coming up short 12-7 to the Mountaineers.
Following a scoreless first quarter, the Mountaineers’ Taylor Huotari pulled in a pass and danced his way past the Emeralds defense for the game’s first score. The twopoint conversion failed, giving Iron Mountain a 6-0 advantage.
Following a three-and-out by the Emeralds, the Mountaineers went up by 12 points when Huotari crossed the goal line, this time from two yards out. Trailing, the Emeralds responded and put points on the board when Tyler Kagnas hit Zack Lambert for a 24-yard TD with 3:42 left in the first half.
The TD capped a six play, 65-yard drive for Manistique. Kenner Broullire added the extra.
From there, both teams had opportunities, but neither could capitalize playing a scoreless second half. The Emeralds defense provided chances, but drives stalled while trying to move the chains late in the contest.
“We had a couple of short fields in the second half, but we just couldn’t keep things going and capitalize on them,” Coach Todd Kangas said. “I thought it was a pretty even game, both ways around. We did some good things, but you know it would have been nice to have them (plays) occur and win the game.”
With three games left and a post season appearance within reach, its back to work for the Emeralds, who prepare to take on the Newberry Indians. The Indians are 3-3 coming off back-to-back to Stephenson
(0-40) and North Central (27-21) wins.
Kangas said with the loss to Iron Mountain, there is “no room for error” with just three games left in the season. To qualify for the playoffs, the Emeralds need to win two of the three games.
“We used all of our error up Friday,” he said. “We need to be focused and prepared each week to go out and play. If we do that, I think we have a good chance, but we need to still go out and play starting with Newberry.”
Following the road trip to Newberry Friday, the Emeralds will finish off the regular season at home against Westwood and Harbor Springs. Both teams sit with records of 2-4.
The Emeralds finished the night with 72 yards on the ground, 135 in the air. Broullire led the Emeralds in rushing with 84 yards on 19 carries. Kangas went 11-of-23 in the air for 135 yards, one TD and an interception. Max Nelson caught four passes for 63 yards, Lambert three for 47 and Zach Lindemuth three for 25 yards.