By TOM KAESER
For The Daily News
MENOMINEE - Giving Menominee's speedy and explosive offense field position is like dangling red meat in front of a hungry jaguar.
The EagleHerald Photo
Kingsford’s Cole Tengesdahl tries to break up a long pass intended for Menominee’s Devon Harris Friday night at Walton Blesch Field.
The Maroons (5-0, 2-0 GNC) stung Kingsford with three quick touchdowns and the defense blew out the tires of the Flivvers' potent attack in a 42-13 romp at Walton Blesch Field Friday night.
"With the exception of three or four plays, that's the best game we've played in a long time," coach Joe Noha exclaimed. "Our defense just smothered them."
Menominee started its first three drives from the Kingsford 42, 28 and 33 and needed just 13 plays to barge out to a 21-0 lead.
The Flivvers (4-1, 0-1 GNC) clawed out just eight rushing yards in the first half on 21 carries. A swarming Maroon defense dropped Kingsford for losses five times and held the Flivvers to a yard or no gain eight times in the first 24 minutes.
"We got off to a bad start against a great team," Kingsford coach Chris Hofer said. "They have playmakers and they made plays."
Devon Harris closed out Menominee's first series with a 5-yard run and Evan Pohlmann added the first of his seven PATs.
After a punt into the wind gave the Maroons the ball at the Flivvers' 28, Menominee overcame a 9-yard sack with the help of a 13-yard pass from Justin Brilinski to Devon Barley. Harris followed a wipe-out block by James Brown for another 5-yard scoring dash to jump the lead to 14-0.
Following Kingsford's third straight three-and-out, Harris got big-time separation in the Flivvers' secondary and hauled in a 33-yard TD strike from Brilinski to hike the lead to 21-0 with 43 seconds still remaining in the first quarter.
"Our field position in the first quarter was very exceptional and we had Evan Pohlmann, who's a great weapon," said Noha.
Menominee took the long route for its fourth TD of the half, starting at its own 21.
Facing a second and 15 at the Menominee 37, Brilinski arced a perfect spiral to Harris, who leaped in front of a Flivver defender to haul in the 34-yard bomb at the 2. James Brown busted over from the 1 two plays later to pad the margin to 28-0 with 1:58 left in the half.
Menominee drove down to the Kingsford 9 on its opening drive of the second half, but the Flivvers smothered Brilinski in mid-air while he was attempting a jump pass and Tyler Roberts blocked Pohlmann's 28-yard field goal try.
The Flivvers' offense flickered to life one play later when Joe Hofer connected with Cole Tengesdahl on a 41-yard pass down the left sideline.
Stuck in neutral again with a fourth and 2 at the 37, Brody Sundquist broke through a hole on the left side and galloped to the end zone with 2:48 left in the third quarter. Brown blocked the extra point kick.
Austin Vorachek's 38-yard kick return lit the fuse for Menominee's fifth scoring march. Harris speared a 19-yard pass from Brilinski, Brown pounded through the Flivvers for 15 yards and Brown finished off the 56-yard drive with a 2-yard run, three seconds into the fourth quarter.
"We did a little better in the second half, but defensively, we didn't do anything tonight," said coach Hofer.
Harris added a defensive sparkler to his huge offensive game when he leaped into the air and speared a Hofer pass at the Flivvers' 47. Three plays later, Harris dodged a tackle at the line of scrimmage, broke an ankle tackle while dashing down the sideline, and raced 47 yards for his fourth touchdown. Pohlmann's kick closed the Maroon scoring with 10:06 left in the game.
Kingsford put together a 16-play drive for its second touchdown. Ferree Jaxson ignited the march with a 14-yard run and Lucas Jennings fired a 9-yard scoring pass to Jack Glodowski, who made a nifty grab in the corner of the end zone while keeping his feet in-bounds.
Tyler Waisanen added the kick with 2:01 left.
The Maroons took a knee four straight times to end the game.
Menominee rushed for 252 yards and Brilinski completed 7 of 12 passes for 115 yards.
Harris had eight carries for 90 yards, Brilinski rushed for 63 yards on nine carries, Brown had 14 hauls for 59 yards.
Sundquist led Kingsford with 34 yards on 10 carries. The Flivvers finished with 78 rushing yards.
(Tom Kaeser is assistant sports editor of The EagleHerald of Marinette)
Kingsford 0 0 6 7 - 13
Menominee 21 7 7 7 - 42
M - Devon Harris 5 run. Evan Pohlmann kick
M - Harris 5 run. Pohlmann kick
M - Harris 33 pass from Brilinski. Pohlmann kick
M - James Brown 1 run. Pohlmann kick
K - Brody Sundquist 37 run. Kick blocked
M - Brown 2 run. Pohlmann kick
M - Harris 47 run. Pohlmman kick
K - Jack Glodowski 9 pass from Lucas Jennings. Tyler Waisanen kick
RUSHING: Menominee ( 248 yards, Harris 8-90; Brilinski 9-62, Brown 14-59) Kingsford (78 yards, Sundquist 10-34)
PASSING: Menominee (Brilinski 7-12-115) Kingsford (Hofer 2-10-49, INT; Jennings 1-2-9 TD)
RECEIVING: Menominee (Harris 4-66, Devon Barley 3-50) Kingsford (Cole Tengesdahl 2-49, Jack Mitchell 1-6, Glodowski 1-9 TD)