Late charge led by Mustangs spoils Emeralds’ homecoming
MANISTIQUE – Up by one with students and fans celebrating halftime festivities, the celebration continued late into the second half only to end in disappointment for the Manistique Emeralds and their faithful at A.F. Hall Stadium last Friday night.
Trailing 21-20, the Munising Mustangs scored the games’ final points late in the fourth quarter to upend Manistique 26-21.
“We have been playing some good football, especially on offense,” said Coach Todd Kangas.
Kangas went on to say struggles on the defensive side of the ball and the fact that the team has not had enough breaks or created those breaks for themselves, is the reason the Emeralds are still looking for that first win of the season; a season in which they have been competitive through five weeks.
“Every game we have had opportunities at the end to change the outcome,” he continued. “Against Negaunee we left one just outside the end zone at the end of the game. Gwinn, it was scoreless in the third and we had two opportunities to take a lead and didn’t. Norway, we had the lead with four minutes to go and Friday we had three possessions inside their 20-yard line and didn’t score.”
Not ones to let their homecoming crowd down, the Emeralds responded tying the score off TD runs by Mike Brock and Austin Miller before the opener came to an end.
Munising tipped the score back in their favor when Kelto punched one in from one yard out. Manistique blocked the kick on the conversion to go up 20-14 before Kangas found his favorite target connecting with Cole Potvin on an eight-yard TD. The kick by Cameron Page gave the Emeralds a 21-20 advantage at the half.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Munising sealed the win when Kelto broke free on a 25-yard run to the end zone late in the fourth quarter.
“I am sure it has been frustrating for the fans to watch. It is equally frustrating for us as coaches and I am sure our players are frustrated as well,” said Kangas. “We keep coming back; at least we are putting ourselves in position to win games. Each week we are close and to not come up with a win is hard.”
Three of the Emeralds losses this season have been six points or less, including the season opener against the Negaunee Miners.
Manistique put up 348 yards in the loss; 206 on the ground and 142 in the air.
Austin Miller rushed for 119 yards on 23 carries. Mike Brock 47 and Tyler Kangas 23.
Kangas was 13 of 21 for 142 yards in the air, one TD and one interception.
Cole Potvin caught five passes for 75 yards and a TD.
Manistique travels to Iron Mountain (2-3) in search of their first win this Friday.