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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Marinette Edges Menominee in 112th M&M Showdown

Issue Date: August 29, 2018

For coach Andy Walters and the Marinette Marines football team, the monkey is off their back.

After 10 straight losses in the M&M Game against Menominee, Marinette won the 112th game by a 22-20 score.

Menominee got on the board first, as Keagan Monroe ran the ball into the end zone in the second quarter from 10 yards out.

Marinette would respond quickly, however, as Rylie Nelson took a pitch from Matt Wagner and punched in a one-yard touchdown on the next drive. Wagner scored on the two-point conversion to make it 8-7.

The Maroons had a chance to take the lead back on their second drive of the game, but Monroe was intercepted by Sam Drees at the Marinette 25-yard-line.

"That turnover was huge. It's a game of momentum," Marinette coach Andy Walters said. "They were driving on us and had a scoring opportunity. To get that turnover and get that stop, that's bend but don't break, and that's what it's all about."

Menominee took the lead on a William Burnett seven-yarder on the next drive. Again, they had a chance to start pulling away, but a fumble nixed those plans.

In the third quarter, Matt Wagner fired a 25-yard touchdown to Drees, but the Marines failed on the conversion, leaving the score at 14 all.

Drees scored a five-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to give Marinette a 22-14 lead. Menominee would score a touchdown in the fourth to tie it up, with Keagan Monroe finding Brendon Harris for a 24-yard score, but again the Maroons had problems keeping a handle on the ball.

Monroe attempted to lateral the ball to Harris on the conversion, but the ball hit the deck and the Maroons were left trailing 22-20.

They'd get a chance to win it after a late Marinette punt, but Jake Poetzl picked off Monroe one more time to seal the Maroons' fate.

"This was the grittiest game that I have ever seen in my years of coaching. One of the grittiest games that I've seen our kids play," Walters said after the game. "They were physical, but at the same time, through adversity, they handled it."

The adversity for the Marines, in addition to the 10 years of losses at Menominee's hands, was in the form of injuries.

"We had guys dropping like flies and we had guys out on the field in positions they didn't work at in practice," Walters said. "We were five deep at a position. We're not five deep. We had a lot of guys step up and play for us today and I'm very proud of them."

Drees ran 16 times for 90 yards and caught the 25-yard touchdown. Wagner threw six times, completing four for 65 yards. Joe Bezio also ran 11 times for 55 yards and Nelson scored on one of his eight runs, totaling 56 yards on the day.

Monroe completed six of 13 for 87 yards passing. He ran 23 times for 118 yards. Burnett ran 11 times for 47 yards.

After the game, when asked how it felt to get a win over Menominee after 10 years, Walters said that "words can't explain it," giving all the credit to the players.

"To get that monkey off your back is huge, but it's the kids," he said. "We worked on a lot of things in practice, but a lot of stuff we had to do today was completely them. The credit goes to our kids. I'm extremely proud of them."


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