By BURT ANGELI
FELCH - North Dickinson pinned another tough loss on Munising Friday.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
North Dickinson’s Tim Hruska (28) runs into Munising’s Benjamin Stasewich (44) and Alex Hill (82) in Friday’s Mid-Eastern Conference football game at James D. Priestap Memorial Field.
The unbeaten Nordics and Tim Hruska built a 24-12 lead in the third quarter but needed a defensive stop in the final seconds to preserve a 24-20 Mid-Eastern Conference football decision at James D. Priestap Memorial Field.
Hruska rushed for 170 yards on 24 carries, with touchdowns of 27 and 17 yards.
"We're young and learning," veteran Nordics coach Joe Reddinger said. "We took them lightly and we tried to guard against that.
"I don't think we were into the proper frame of mind. We were sloppy. We can't make that many mistakes and expect to win."
Munising, led by the passing combination of Austin Kelto to Colin Immel, entered the game after tough losses to West Iron County and North Central.
"Three weeks in a row with moral victories," said Mustangs coach Jeff Seaberg. "We have to get more than that out of it.
"But the kids do not give up. They come to play four quarters of football."
Munising didn't look like a hard-luck team in the early going as Kelto peeled off 40 yards on a keeper for one score and passed 58 to Immel for another.
Those scores were sandwiched around Matt Schultz's one-yard dive, leaving the Mustangs on top 12-7 in the first quarter.
"We tried different defenses," said Reddinger, going with three, four and five-man fronts. "We were grasping at straws for a little bit."
In the second quarter, Hruska rambled 27 yards for a touchdown and Logan O'Neil closed out the half with a 27-yard field goal.
Hruska's 17-yard scoring run pushed the Nordics ahead 24-12 in the third quarter. The Mustangs then came back to life offensively with Kelto triggering a surge late in the period. Kelto rambled 16 yards for the score and his conversion pass to Benjamin Stasewich carved the difference to 24-20.
North Dickinson (3-0 overall, 2-0 Mid-Eastern) threatened to ice the contest with an eight-minute, 59-yard drive in the fourth quarter. But that effort, after three other successful fourth-down conversions, was stuffed at the Mustang 8.
"We moved the ball pretty good and made a nice drive," Reddinger said. "We probably went to the well once too often (with sweeps). We should have come up with something else."
Munising marched the other way in a hurry, with Kelto and Immel hooking up a for a 67-yard pass to the North Dickinson 19. That drive boiled down to fourth and goal from the three with 17 seconds left.
However, a Kelto-to-Immel pass fell incomplete. The Nordics also prepared for Kelto to find the 6-foot Stasewich.
"We got down there and put ourselves into position," Seaberg said. "It was a good, hard fought ball game from start to finish.
"Both teams came up with plays when they had to and we just ran a little short on time."
Next Friday, North Dickinson hosts Stephenson and Munising (0-3, 0-2) visits Newberry. The Nordics hope to have G/LB Jonas Christian (shoulder) back for the Eagles.
"The good news is we won," Reddinger said. "We came back and hung in there with a great defensive stand."
Munising 12 0 0 8 - 20
North Dickinson 7 10 7 0 - 24
M - Austin Kelto 40 run (pass failed), 9:53.
ND - Matt Schultz 1 run (Logan O'Neil kick), 4:17.
M - Colin Immel 58 pass from Kelto (run failed), 3:27.
ND - Tim Hruska 27 run (O'Neil kick), 11:52.
ND - O'Neil 27 field goal, :07.
ND - Hruska 17 run (O'Neil kick), 6:59.
M - Kelto 16 run (Benjamin Stasewich from Kelto), 11:51.
Total offense - ND 371 (304 rushing, 67 passing), M 299 (115 rushing, 184).
Rushing - ND, Hruska 24-170, Schultz 21-81, O'Neil 9-48; Mun, Hayes 5-41, Kelto 8-74.
Passing - ND, O'Neil 5-6-1, 67; M, Kelto 7-13-0, 184.
First downs - ND 17, Munising 11.
Penalties - ND 7-50, Munising 1-5.