Broncos victory against Ishpeming | News, Sports, Jobs


HARRIS — It’s hard to contain Vincent Martin of Bark River-Harris for four quarters.

Ishpeming tried, but the senior running back went wild on a 47-yard dash around the left end with two minutes and 22 seconds left, helping the Broncos to a 28-20 football triumph here on Thursday night .

The victory allowed BR-H to retain the WestPAC Iron Division title and move to 7-2 ahead of next weekend’s Division 8 playoffs. The Hematites are 4-5.

“Each team has bet on Vincent all season” said junior BR-H quarterback Ethan Ives, who had 4 of 9 passes for 97 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. “I was blocking for him. I trust him to cut me and the other blockers.

Ishpeming didn’t just walk away as second Caden Luoma returned the ensuing kickoff at the Broncos 49-yard line.

The Broncos defense, however, forced the Hematites to turn the ball over on tries at 41, allowing them to line up in a winning formation.

“He (Martin) is a fabulous player” said Ishpeming coach Cody Kugler. “We noticed in a scouting report that he was a very physical runner. I’m very happy with the discipline of our inside line. He was definitely key to their running game. It’s a very fundamental sound team. We have a lot of respect for their coaches and their program.

After the teams traded interceptions, Martin dug in the middle on a three-yard run, giving the Broncos a 22-14 lead with 8:23 left in the third quarter.

The Hematites responded immediately as elder Preston Gauthier returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a score, cutting their deficit to 22-20.

“It was a good match,” said BR-H coach Al Stenberg. “Ishpeming has a hell of a football program. I think these two teams are equal. They have great defense and were closing out our inside running game. They were playing us very tight up front, which I think opened up our passing game a bit. Vincent deserves all the attention. It’s not a question of if, but a question of when he’s going to come up with a big play. They got a little tired and Vincent skipped a big one.

BR-H took an 8-0 lead on Ives’ 33-yard pass to middle junior Ben Shiverski with 3:47 left in the first quarter.

Ishpeming tied the game on Luoma’s six-yard run around the left end with 7 1/2 minutes left in the second.

The Broncos extended their lead to 16-8 on a 10-yard aerial from Ives to Shiverski, who was wide along the left sideline before rushing into the end zone with 3:19 left in the second.

“It was a great game, call both teams,” said Ives. “I don’t know how Ben opened up, but I think he just found the gaps.”

Ishpeming threatened shortly before halftime as junior Hunter Smith threw a 61-yard aerial to Gauthier, allowing him to drive deep into Broncos territory.

That drive, however, stalled on the BR-H one-yard line 19 seconds before halftime.

“It was a good save before half-time” said Ives. “It was maybe the most important save of the game. It gave us a lot of momentum. However, they were playing us hard and we knew it would be more of the same in the second half.

The Hematites closed at 16-14 on second Ethan Corp’s 14-yard pass to senior Logan Hurkmans with 32 seconds left in the third, setting the stage for a biting fourth quarter.

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