Two of three Upper Peninsula high school football teams earned big semifinal victories at the Superior Dome to advance to the state finals next Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit.
Ishpeming scored the first 30 points in its 44-10 win over Harbor Beach in a Division Seven semifinal. This game pitted last year's Divison Seven champion, the Hematites, against last season's Division Eight titlist, the Pirates. Alex Briones scored three touchdowns and Bobby Zhulkie found the end zone twice with Dylan Sundberg getting the final points.
Jeff Olson's club will meet Detroit Loyola in the state final next Saturday morning at Ford Field in Detroit. Loyola cruised past Homer 52-7 in the other semifinal.
Ishpeming defeated Loyola 20-14 in last year's final.
Menominee raced out to an incredible 49-0 halftime lead against Muskegon Oakridge before holding on to win 59-28. The Maroons scored three times in the first quarter and four touchdowns in the second.
Oakridge didn't quit. They took advantage of a couple third quarters turnover to score 20 points in seven minutes to cut the deficit to 49-20. But Aeron Forsberg forced a fumble that Shaun Sullivan recovered, and Menominee settled down to post the victory.
The Maroons will meet Grand Rapids West Catholic in the final Saturday afternoon. The Falcons blanked Livonia Clarenceville 35-0.in the other semifinal.Forest Park scored first, but could not contain a solid Beal City attack in a Division Eight semifinal. The Aggies jumped out to a 27-6 lead and defeated the Trojans 34-18.
Beal City will challenge Muskegon Catholic Central in the final Friday morning. MCC breezed past New Lothrop 45-14.