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A rolling fog partially obscured Agassiz Field on Friday.
And Calumet’s defense never sounded the fog horn as West Iron County’s offense hit the rocks.
The Copper Kings rolled to a 14-0 win as their defense held West Iron to 88 yards on the night, shutting the Wykons out for the first time since 2009.
“We had to grind it out but it was a great win for us,” Calumet head coach John Croze said. “Anytime you can pitch a shutout against a Wykon team, I’d say you’re playing some darn good defense. I thought we did a great job tonight. That was what we hung our hat on was our defense.”
The Copper Kings (4-0) had scored seven seconds into the second quarter for the lead. But with the game being a defensive stalemate to that point, it seemed another score would be all the offense the Copper Kings needed.
And it was indeed all they needed.
The Copper Kings started the late second quarter drive on their 10 with 58 seconds remaining. A 60-yard pass play from quarterback Scott Loukus to Dean Loukus set Calumet up at West Iron’s 30. A couple incompletions followed before Dryden Nelson took a toss along the right edge and scored on third down from the Wykons’ 30.
“It gave us the comfort of having the two touchdowns,” Croze said. “That just shows how dangerous some of our athletes are. They can score that quick. I think we went 90 yards in about six plays and 30 seconds.”
West Iron (3-1) threatened before Calumet’s score late in the second. The Wykons had the ball at Calumet’s 47 with 2:11, but were held to a three-and-out and punted.
“I thought we were in trouble when we gave up the drive before that and gave West Iron good field position,” Croze said. “But when we got it back we went ‘let’s give it a shot.’ We had a couple successful plays. That big pass from Loukus to Loukus gave us the opportunity to put it in the end zone.”
Nelson ran in a 5-yard score early in the second quarter for the game’s first score.
“I thought we got punched in the face. Basically they came out and hit us,” West Iron County head coach Mike Berutti said. “It was a good football game in that first half. Back and forth, we were moving the ball. We shot ourselves in the foot a couple times. Calumet gets a nice drive and goes up 6-0. We started moving the ball again.”
The Wykons never mounted any offense in the second half. In fact, West Iron never snapped the ball beyond its own 25 after halftime. A first-and-10 throw by Wykon quarterback Trey Bociek at their own 25 was intercepted by Calumet’s Will Twardzik with 2:15 in the game.
The Wykons were held to six first downs and had three false starts.
Calumet had 347 yards of total offense, including 250 rushing and 97 passing.
West Iron County was held to 88 yards of offense including 86 rushing.
The Wykons had 86 yards rushing on 25 attempts, a 3.4 yards per carry average.
In contrast, Calumet ran for 250 yards on 47 attempts, a 5.3 yards per carry average.
Nick Djerf led Calumet’s rushing attack with 111 yards on 16 carries. Nelson finished with 66 yards on nine carries.
Scott Loukus completed 6 of 10 passes for 97 yards.
Dean Loukus had five receptions for 87 yards.
West Iron’s Gage Larson had 40 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Berutti said Calumet’s score before halftime was a backbreaker. In the third, the Copper Kings put together a drive lasting through the final nine and a half minutes of the quarter before dying out on a fourth-and-5 incomplete pass from the Wykons’ 7.
“We can’t give up that play before halftime,” Berutti said. “Then they took a nice long drive in the second half that kind of flipped the field position on us and we could just never overcome that. We’d get something going and next play, we’d pick up five, then pick up two. We just couldn’t get that one where we could pick up 10 or 12 yards.”
Calumet hosted the schools’ 10 newest Hall of Fame inductees and their families at halftime. The inductees were introduced behind Calumet’s bench. The school’s formal Hall of Fame induction is 11 a.m. Saturday at CLK Commons.
The inductees are Kevin Manninen (1986), Brian Poshak (1992), Don Poshak (1968), Jasen Rintala (1992), Mary Lynn (Langley) Saurino (1978), Jeff Twardzik (1989), Jim Crawford, Shane Jacques (1988), Julie (Hoxie) Langseth (1985) and Gordie Lassila (1950).
Calumet visits Norway next week, while West Iron County hosts Gogebic.
ALSO: Hancock beat Gwinn 27-12. No other details were provided.
West Iron 0 0 0 0 — 0
Calumet 0 14 0 0 — 0
C — Nelson 5 run (2-pt failed), 11:53
C — Nelson 30 run (2-pt conversion), 0:19