U.P. gridiron battle in Division 7

Friday night in Iron River, two undefeated U.P. football teams will clash at Nelson field.

The 10-0 Ishpeming Hematites will take on 10-0 West Iron County. These two teams met two years ago in the postseason. The Hematites came away with the 22-8 victory over the Wykons.

If you look at both teams, they are similar in many ways. Both teams are led by their senior quarterbacks- the Wykons have Andrew Peterson and the Hematites have Alex Briones.

Both teams like to run the ball and both teams play excellent defense.

“I think it comes down to who runs their offense better, who stays in their running lanes on defense and covers the whole field,” said Hematites head coach Jeff Olson. “The teams are pretty even. One turnover here or there could decide this one.”

“I think it’s going to be a very physical game,” said Hematites defensive back Noah Olgren. “Hopefully our (offensive and defensive) lines can do what they have all season, which is get the blocks and control it upfront. We have to bring the intensity just like we’re playing at The Swamp (Ishpeming Playgrounds) every week.”

“They like to run the ball,” said¬† Hematites linebacker Bobby Zhulkie about West Iron County. “I think the deciding factor is going to be who comes out and hits harder. It’s going to be a hard hitting game. We have to come off the bus ready to play because they are going to hit you in the mouth.”

Kickoff between the Hematites and Wykons is set for 7 p.m. The winner of the game will face either Lake City or Lincoln Alcona in the next round.