EagleHerald Sports Editor
MENOMINEE—Fresh off their third consecutive victory over Marinette in the M&M game, the Maroons now shift their focus to the start of the Great Northern Conference slate of its schedule.
Menominee (2-0) travels to Gladstone (1-1, 0-1 GNC) tonight to take on a Braves team that’s coming off a 21-6 loss at Kingsford.
Junior running back Cole Potier rushed for 150 yards and the lone touchdown against the Flivvers after rushing for over 100 yards and two scores in an overtime win against Calumet in the season opener.
Menominee coach Joe Noha said that Gladstone’s ground game has the Maroons’ full attention.
“They have two very good backs in Potier and (Cam) Kelly and they both rushed for over 100 yards against Kingsford,” he said. “Our focus is certainly on stopping the run, both the vertical rushing game of Kelly and the more side-to-side game of Potier. We’re not as big as the kids that were going to try to be tackling, so we’ve been working on our form and making sure that we’re taking the right angles and playing with leverage in order to slow them down.”
Several Maroons were dinged up after a physical battle against the Marines, but Noha said he’ll have his full roster available tonight.
“Everyone is 100 percent healthy and ready to go,” he said. “We’ve had a great week of practice and our kids are excited to play our conference opener.”
Brady Schultz was knocked out of the M&M game early in the second quarter, but not before hauling in four catches for 73 yards. Through two games he’s been the top target of quarterback Trevor Theuerkauf, catching eight balls for 164 yards and two touchdowns.
Theuerkauf has gone 17-of-28 passing with 243 yards and four scores, with Cooper Conway on the receiving end of five of those completions for 59 yards and two touchdowns. Aidan Bellisle, who’s also racked up 291 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 40 carries, has caught five passes for 56 yards and a score, giving Menominee plenty of options offensively.
While Gladstone’s defense, highlighted by All-U.P. linebacker Hunter Potier, will look to stifle the Maroons’ offense firepower, penalties could also threaten to derail Menominee.
Menominee was flagged 13 times for 73 yards against Marinette, and Noha said that the Maroons will need to be much sharper mentally against the Braves.
“We’ve instituted some new standards after the M&M game because we need to be more focused and disciplined against Gladstone than we were against Marinette,” he said. “In that game we did have some cramping issues late that forced some of our younger guys to play in situations that maybe they weren’t familiar with, and that can be tough on the subs to deal with. That being said, we know that as a team, we need to play with better discipline and we will.”
Tonight’s game kicks off at 6 p.m.