MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – What a week! What a game!
Players and coaches put the finishing touches to a full week of UP Football All-Star Game activities by taking to the field at the Superior Dome on Saturday. The atmosphere was electric and fans were thrilled to see their local UP players go head-to-head in another high school football game. The players finally had the opportunity to compare their talents to other UP stars on the pitch that they had previously only heard of or seen in the movies.
For players who weren’t pursuing football in college, the game offered one last chance to put on the pads and have some fun. For players showing up for college football camp in the fall, they’ve had a taste of playing in a big stadium, plus a week of practice with the pads to get used to harder hits and more physical contact.
As for the game itself, fans couldn’t ask for a better, more exciting game. The addition of movement on offense continues to provide a much-needed scoring boost from previous years. The black team quickly took the lead, but the red team countered on the next possession. The score went back and forth, before Team Red took a 28-21 lead on a touchdown with just 4 seconds left before halftime. The black team took the lead in the second half with improved offensive execution and increased defensive pressure. Once they took the lead, they never gave it up again, finishing the match 54-28.
The individual awards were as follows: Black Team Offensive MVP: Dryden Nelson-Calumet, Black Team Defensive MVP: Marcus Boase-Westwood, Black Team Jack Audette Character Award: Chance Bridgers, Red Team Offensive MVP: Aidan Bellisle-Menominee, Red Team Defensive MVP: Trevor Lippens-Bark River-Harris, Red Team Jack Audette Character Award: Justin Jurmu-Marquette. Individual awards were decided by each team’s coaches after the game.
The traveling trophy was presented to the black team and head coach George Niemi of Ishpeming. A miniature version of the trophy was also presented to Chris Thomson of West Iron County, who was the head coach of the victorious Black team in 2021. The traveling trophy is taken back to Marquette for next year’s game, where coach Niemi will receive his. miniature version of this year’s victory trophy.
Totals are being finalized and proceeds will be donated to several charities and UP schools.
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