Big effort, big plays, big win
Fueled by a 254-yard effort by Kenner Broullire and a three TD night by QB Tyler Kangas, they left Ron Rubick field with horns blasting and fans cheering their 44-28 homecoming victory over the Westwood Patriots Friday night.
With the win, Manistique improves to 5-3, while keeping their postseason hopes very much alive.
“We responded to a lot of adversity tonight,” Coach Todd Kangas said. “We lost guys left and right, including our long snapper, who was injured before the game started. Our starting center only played half the game and (we) had a couple of two-way starters that did not finish the game.”
“We needed every bit of it,” Kangas said. “With players out, we just tried to keep things together until the half so they could reorganize; they did a good job.”
The plan worked; tied at 20 the Emeralds jumped out early in the second half and never looked back. On his way to a 1,000-plus yard season, Broullire put the Emeralds up early in the Mid-Peninsula Conference match-up when he crossed the goal line on a short run in the opening quarter.
Westwood responded, scoring on the ensuing possession after taking advantage of an Emerald turnover on a short run by Marquise Baggiore.
Manistique got to within two (14-12) when Kangas connected with Max Nelson for a 33-yard TD. With the long snapper out, the two point conversion failed, leaving the Emeralds trailing by two points at the 9:17 mark in the quarter.
Taking a page out of the Emeralds book, a 33- yard TD reception by Anthony Webb pushed the Patriots lead to 20-12 at the 5:33 mark in the second quarter. Westwood finished the night with 310 yards, 154 in the air and 156 on the ground.
Manistique took control of the game on their final possession of the half. Following a 35-yard run down to the four by Broullire, Manistique was flagged twice, pushing the ball back to the 17 yard line. Faced with fourth and long, Kangas hit Zack Lambert in the corner of the end zone for the score. Kangas then hit Matt Gonzalez in the same spot for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 20 points at the half.
The Emeralds regained the lead off their first possession early in the third when Kangas connected with Max Nelson for a 17-yard score. A pass play to Lambert and a run down to the four yard line by Broullire put the Emeralds in scoring position, but again, Manistique was flagged three times on the drive. Pushed back this time to the 20 yard line, Kangas dropped back and connected with Nelson for the score.
Nelson caught two passes, each for TD’s in the win.
The two-point conversion by Broullire put the Emeralds up 28- 20. A 13-yard run by Broullire pushed the Emeralds lead to 36-20 late in the third.
Down but not out the Patriots drove the length of the field and scored to cut the Emeralds lead to eight at the 11:48 mark in the fourth. Another big stop by the Emeralds defense forced a Westwood punt from there. Manistique put the ball in Broullire’s hands, controlled the clock and put seven more points on the board off a 25-yard run to the end zone by the Emerald senior. With the run, Broullire has rushed for 1,119 yards in the 2012 season.
“Kenner just got stronger as the game went on as did our offensive line,” said Kangas. “We’ve been trying to develop a strong running team, Tyler compliments that very well by being able to run the play action pass and also make some plays on his own with some good receivers.”
Manistique finished the night with 384-yards of offense in the win, 268 on the ground and 116 in the air.