2017-09-28 / Sports

Portagers power past Norse

ONEKAMA SENIOR Jacob Mauntler makes a Suttons Bay defender miss on Friday during the team’s 54-18 win. ONEKAMA SENIOR Jacob Mauntler makes a Suttons Bay defender miss on Friday during the team’s 54-18 win. Jacob Mauntler took the give on 3rd-and-20, ran left, cut back, ran right, made four Suttons Bay tacklers miss — and found the end zone.

Mauntler’s electrifying 35-yard touchdown run in the first quarter on Friday quieted a homecoming crowd and highlighted a 54-18 conference win for visiting Onekama.

“I looked back and saw a cutback (lane), so I took it,” Mauntler said after the game. “I saw some blockers so I got behind them and they basically led me to the end zone.”

The formula worked well for the Portagers from the get-go.

Onekama (5-0, 4-0 Midwest) leaned on its vaunted rushing attack en route to a 30-0 halftime lead and finished with a whopping 440 rushing yards in the victory.

Mauntler finished with 150 rushing yards and two touchdowns; quarterback Jeremiah Torrey had 196 and three scores; Ben Acton had 91 yards and a pair of scores.

“We had opportunities to make tackles and we didn’t do it,” Suttons Bay coach Dan Durkin said of his Norsemen (3-2, 2-2 Midwest). “Offensively, we missed some assignments and that cost us there in the first half.

“I was happy with the ball movement in the second half, but it was 30-0 at that point. You can take some positives from that, but you need a four-quarter effort and we didn’t have that. We came out flat and they jumped all over us.”

The Norsemen gave home fans something to cheer about in the second half, however.

Cam Knaub, who led the Norsemen in rushing with 13 carries for 115 yards, had a pair of touchdown runs from seven yards and two yards. Erik Halvorsen had the other score, a 47-yard pass from quarterback Evan Rohrback late in the third.

“This might be the best team we play all year,” said Halvorsen, who led Suttons Bay defensively with 14 total tackles, including the 100th and 101st of his varsity career.

Fortunately, Suttons Bay won’t have to see Onekama again this fall. The MHSAA added a second 8-man tournament this year, dividing programs by enrollment. Onekama would compete in the new 16-team tournament, which features relatively smaller schools.

UP NEXT: Central Lake (5-0)

The first road game of the Suttons Bay 8-man era will take place Saturday in Central Lake — and it won’t be easy.

The Trojans of Central Lake have outscored opponents 280-115 this season and currently sit alongside Onekama atop the Midwest Central Michigan 8-Man Conference standings with a 4-0 record in league play.

“They’re going to be another physical team,” Durkin said.

Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

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