Football: Norway wears down Mustangs in win

Norway’s Mitchell LeGrave (20) breaks a run against as Munising’s Thomas Murdock pursues on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Norway, Mich. (Adam Niemi/Iron Mountain Daily News)

NORWAY — Norway broke a stalemate in the third quarter in a 34-8 win against Munising on Friday.

Munising’s Mason Schieding returned a kickoff 82 yards to give the Mustangs an 8-7 lead in the first quarter.

Both teams matched each other until Norway sprung to life with 20 points in the third quarter.

“Our kids showed a lot of heart today. We were down 8-7 at halftime and we didn’t go crazy,” Norway head coach Bob Madigan said. “We knew we had to fix some blocking assignments and come out and play football. That’s what coaches do at halftime. Either they fire kids up or fix some things. Our defense played solid the whole night. We gave up a kickoff return. Other than that, we fixed things at halftime and got back in the game.”

Mitchell LeGrave ignited Norway (2-0) in the decisive third with two big touchdown runs of 42 yards and 48, respectively.

The Knights generated 395 yards of offense including 316 rushing and 79 passing.

Meanwhile, Munising (0-2) struggled to get its offense off the ground, especially in the second half.

Norway’s defense convincingly stifled Munising. The Mustangs rushed the ball 24 times for 38 yards (1.5 yards per carry).

“We thought we could come out and battle with them,” Munising head coach Jeff Seaberg said. “Did a good job I think in the first half against a good team. We were just gassed in the second half. That’s my fault. I take credit for that. I’m the one that makes sure they’re in shape and that one’s on me.”

Munising threatened to take control of the game after Norway quarterback Trey Doda threw an interception in the second quarter. The Mustangs drove to the Norway 18 before being stopped on a fourth-and-8. Norway drove the ball to the Munising 40 and Doda fumbled on an option.

The Mustangs again took the ball downfield to the Norway 33 as the second quarter came to a close. The Knights defense stepped up again, sacking quarterback Josh Huotari on a fourth-and-14 with no time remaining.

Madigan said Doda’s composure after the interception and fumble was reassuring.

“He’s stepping up. That’s a sign of a lot of character. I told him you’re our guy, you’re our kid. You’re going to have to come back and do this,” Madigan said. “He was playing a great game and he had two errors. Against a good team, when you get into it, those errors could cost you the game. To beat these good, good teams, you’re going to have to play pretty much a perfect game. The one was a pitch. We should’ve not called it — it was our fault. We were short side of the field. The interception — he had just thrown three or four beautiful passes before that. “

Doda completed 5 of 7 passes for 79 yards.

Huotari threw 8 of 16 for 121 yards. His main target was Anthony Mattson, who caught five passes for 92 yards.

Mattson led the Mustangs’ defense with a monster game: 16 tackles (two for loss), forced fumble, interception, blocked kick and two blocked passes.

“He’s steady for us. He catches the ball anywhere near him. He’s got good hands,” Seaberg said. “He’s done a great job the last three years for us so we expect that out of him. We hope we get it every week.

“He’s kind of our quarterback on the field both sides of the ball even though he doesn’t play quarterback. His dad’s one of our coaches so he’s been around the game since he was a little one. He helps the linemen and things like that on both sides of the ball. He does an outstanding job leading us that way.”

After doing a radio interview, Madigan walked to the coaches office with family members. He mentioned going to the Dickinson County Fair and said “I’m going to spend a pound of $20s.”

Then, he looked at his grandsons and said, “how many elephant ears can you eat?”

Munising 8 0 0 0 — 8

Norway 7 0 20 7 — 34

First Quarter

N — Janssen 4 pass from Doda (Benjamin kick), 4:41

M — Schieding 82 kickoff return (2-pt conversion), 4:28

Third Quarter

N — LeGrave 42 run (Benjamin kick), 9:48

N — LeGrave 48 run (Benjamin kick), 6:33

N — Doda 2 run (Benjamin kick blocked), 2:16

Fourth Quarter

N — Hautamaki 1 run (Benjamin kick), 5:44

Individual Statistics

RUSHING — LeGrave 18-187, Janssen 12-53, Hautamaki 2-30, Thompson 8-26, Paulitch 2-12, Anderson 2-6, Doda 1-2.

RECEIVING — Anderson 2-42, Janssen 2-24, Hendricks 1-13.

PASSING — Doda 5-7-79