Maroons remain undefeated after gouging Gremlins
HOUGHTON, Mich. — Calumet’s moniker may be the Copper Kings, but the Menominee football team proved to be the true rulers of Copper Country after steamrolling Houghton 56-0 in Friday’s West-PAC Copper division contest.
Friday was the third time Menominee made the trek to the Keweenaw Peninsula this season, and the Maroons returned home with convincing victories each time. Menominee dominated Hancock 46-6 on August 31 and hammered Calumet 44-0 on September 15.
Menominee (4-0 West-PAC Copper, 5-0 overall) continued its warpath against the Gremlins (1-2 West-PAC Copper, 2-3 overall), with the Maroons scoring on all six of their drives in the first half, forcing four turnovers, and outgaining Houghton in total offense by a 436-103 margin.
Big plays defined the Maroons’ offensive attack, with eight plays going for 20 yards or more.
“Big offensive plays start up front with the offensive line getting off their blocks, and our offensive line played fast and communicated very well,” Menominee coach Chad Brandt said. “Our team is very unselfish. When you do little things well, like when our receivers are making blocks downfield, it makes a huge difference.”
Landan Bardowski authored one such chunk play on Menominee’s first possession after taking his initial carry 48 yards to move ball down to the Houghton 16-yard line.
Menominee capped off the drive five plays later, with Bardowski taking a 2-yard plunge into the endzone before Trevor Theuerkauf tacked on the 2-point run to make it an 8-0 affair just 152 seconds into the game.
Aaron Brunelle, who led Menominee with three catches for 53 yards, hauled in a 42-yard rainbow from Theuerkauf down the left sideline on the Maroon’s next possession for a first-and-goal and the Gremlins’ 4-yard line.
Theuerkauf hit Eli Beal for a 4-yard score on the next play, while a successful 2-point toss to Jeremy Salmi lifted Menominee ahead 16-0.
Houghton’s ensuing drive ended in a fumble recovered by the Maroons, and Menominee put the ball into the hands of Tanner Theuerkauf, and the sophomore responded with two carries, one for 34 yards and another for 31, the latter of which went for a touchdown.
Trevor Theuerkauf tacked on the 2-point run as Menominee seized a 24-0 advantage with 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Menominee’s first drive of the second quarter lasted only three plays, with Beal corralling a 45-yard reception and Bardowski breaking off a 29-yard gain before polishing matters off with a 1-yard score to make it 30-0 with 7:37 to play in the first half.
Bardowski recorded a 26-yard gallop on Menominee’s next drive and Trevor Theuerkauf did the rest with an 8-yard scoring scamper putting the Maroons on top 36-0.
Menominee’s second turnover, an interception by Kaiden Bell, resulted in a 36-yard pick-six as the Maroons’ lead swelled to 42-0 with 3:49 on the clock.
Tanner Theuerkauf only carried the ball three times but he turned two of them into touchdowns, taking his third touch 40-yards to pay dirt to nudge Menominee ahead 50-0 and kick off a running clock for Houghton.
Menominee’s final score came in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, with Dawson Bardowski powering in a 1-yard score to make it a 56-0 with just over one minute left to play.
“I’m very pleased that our kids continue to have fun playing football,” Brandt said. “They’re committed to each other, and to getting better each week, and that showed tonight. They play for each other.”
Menominee ran for 315 yards, with Landan Bardowski collecting 10 carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Tanner Theuerkauf finished with 103 yards, Trevor Theuerkauf chipped in five carries for 31 yards and Bell added two carries for 27 yards.
Trevor Theuerkauf went 6-of-9 passing for 111 yards and one touchdown. Beal caught two passes for 49 yards.
Jay Halonen led Houghton’s offense with 19 carries for 74 yards. Wyatt Jenkins backed him up with 22 yards on six touches, while Owen Petersen had three carries for three yards.
Petersen connected on three of his nine passes for 30 yards. Jace DeForge hauled in all three balls.
Wyatt Cornell made his presence felt in the third quarter of Friday’s game against Houghton.
Menominee’s junior defense end blocked a punt by DeForge, sacked Petersen for a 14-yard loss, and recovered a fumble.
“He’s a hard worker. Wyatt has played very well for us at offensive tackle, but the more we rotate him onto the defensive line in order to keep bodies fresh, the more plays he makes. The more reps he gets on the defensive side of the ball, the better he’ll become,” Brandt said.
Menominee: The Maroons are at home for a crucial West-PAC Copper division against Gladstone (3-1 West-PAC Copper, 4-1 overall) at 6:30 p.m. on September 29.
Menominee 56, Houghton 0
Menominee 24 26 0 6 — 56
Houghton 0 0 0 0 — 0
Leading rushers (Houghton): Halonen 19-74; Jenkins 6-22; Petersen 3-3
Leading rushers (Menominee): L. Bardowski 10-135-2TDs; Ta. Theuerkauf 3-105-2TDs; Tr. Theuerkauf 5-31-TD; D. Bardowski 8-17-TD; Bell 2-27
Leading passers (Houghton): Petersen 3-9-30-INT
Leading passers (Menominee): Tr. Theuerkauf 6-9-111-TD; Ta. Theuerkauf 3-3-12
Leading receivers (Houghton): DeForge 3-30
Leading receiver (Menominee): Brunelle 3-53; Beal 2-49-TD; Landen Daigneau 1-9; Ta. Theuerkauf 1-9; Keegan Wickstrom 1-3; D. Bardowski 1-0
West-PAC Copper Division standings (Through Week 5)
Menominee — 4-0 West-PAC Copper, 5-0 overall
Gladstone — 3-1, 4-1
Kingsford — 3-1, 4-1
Negaunee — 3-1, 4-1
Houghton — 1-2, 2-3
Calumet — 1-3, 1-4
Hancock — 0-3, 1-4
Westwood — 0-4, 0-5