ISHPEMING – Last year at this time, the Ishpeming Hematites played a road playoff game against West Iron County, and the Negaunee Miners took on Boyne City at the Superior Dome. The same four teams are meeting up again in the postseason tomorrow night.
Ishpeming will host West Iron County, while the Miners will play at Boyne City. The Hematites and Miners both won those playoff matchups a year ago. Ishpeming will take on a West Iron team that is very big and physical at the point of attack. Negaunee will have their hands full with a Ramblers team that is loaded with a number players that can flat out fly.
“They’re going to ground and pound it against us and try to move the chains and wear us down,” said Ishpeming head coach Jeff Olson. “They’re very active on defense, very tough, hard–nosed minded kids. They get a lot of people to the football, so it’s going to like playing us. We have the same colors, royal and white, same type of philosophies, so it should be very interesting.”
“They look pretty good. We’re going to have to stop (Austin) Schemelebeck, their big linebacker and running back. If we can contain him, I’m pretty sure we’ll pull out a win,” said Hematites linebacker Ozzy Corp.
“Our team’s playing pretty good. We’re getting better every week. Our defense seems to be improving every week. Nick Comment seems to be getting better; everyone is getting better. We’re starting to click right now,” said Ishpeming defensive back Ozzie Hakkarinen about the Hematites defense.
“Being on the road like this, it sets you into a schedule,” said Miners head coach Paul Jacobson about his team playing back–to–back games on the road. “The kids know what to expect, know what’s going on, and they know where they’re going to be at any given time. It’s a road trip… we travel Calumet and Manistique, which are two hour trips. We’re excited for the challenge.”
“It seems like every game they played this year, they put a lot of points up on the board,” said Negaunee quarterback Ryan Syrjala. “Our defense is going to have to come up big and shut them down. Hopefully they don’t know what hits them.”
“We have quite a bit of confidence coming into this game,” said Miners lineman Luke Jacobson. “I think we can beat them after playing Charlevoix and seeing what they’re like. They (Boyne City) were a tough team last year and I know they’re going to be a tough team this year, so we just have to stop them.”
Both games have kickoff set for 7 p.m. ET.