Marquette, MI – October 1st, 2021 – The Marquette Redmen hosted the Clare Pioneers at Hart Feild on Friday night. Both teams having an open week agreed to play on short notice with an early start time due to travel for the Pioneers. The game was broadcast live on 103.3 WFXD and online!
1st QTR: The Redmen received the opening kickoff and started off strong. Quarterback Austin Ridl found Justin Jurmu for 64 yards on the very first play of the game. Clare’s defense was able to keep Marquette out of the endzone, and cause a turnover on downs. Clare would find themselves pinned depp in their own territory. They couldn’t find their way down field producing a three-and-out.
Marquette was able to string a few plays together between the 20’s. Efforts from Desmond Mullen, Nate Bettinger, and David Eberhard brought the Redmen down into the redzone. Clare’s defense proved tough when it mattered and caused another turnover on downs. The Pioneers would alas get their offense rolling and move their way down the field with the help from, Al Warner, Dawson Johns, and Beau Weldon. They would find themselves knocking on the door to score before the quarter end.
2nd QTR: The final 12 minutes of the first half started with Clare looking to be the first team in the scoring column. Pioneer Al Warner would find pay dirt on second down from 14 yards out. The point after attempt was good and Clare led, 7-0.
The Redmen offense chipped their way down the field to cone again find themselves knocking on the Pioneer’s door. After back-to-back incomplete passes, the Redmen kicked a field goal and split the uprights to close the gap a bit, 7-3 in favor of the Pioneers.
Clare was able to find the endzone another time with a huge contribution from Beau Weldon and Al Warner. The Redmen defense wouldn’t make it easy but, Warner capped off the drive with a 14 yard scamp to pay dirt. The point after was no good yet Clare still held the lead, 13-3. Marquette would respond converting on a fourth down to get a fresh set of downs in Clare territory. Redmen quarterback Austin Ridl would find David Eberhard for a nine yard touchdown reception. Marquette able to close the gap, 13-10.
The Pioneers strung together some plays on the ground before heading to the air for Dawson Johns. Johns brought down a 40 yard touchdown reception, but the point after was no good. Marquette was determined to score one more time before the half’s end. A couple of penalties went Marquette’s way to move them into Pioneer territory. Justin Jurmu and Desmond Mullen brought the Redmen down to the goal line before Ridl found Jurmu for a three yard touchdown reception. The half would close with Clare holding the lead, 19-17.
3rd QTR: Clare started the second half with their offense taking the field. They would march their way down inside the Marquette ten yard line. Jacob Recker would hook up with Johns for a touchdown reception. The Pioneers kept the Redmen at bay with a score of, 26-17.
Marquette utilized the option play with Ridl pitching to Lohfink for a 12 yard gain. Another big gain by Eberhard and Ridl on the ground would put Marquette in a scoring scenario. Mullen would punch his way in from three yards out, and the Redmen would go for a two-point conversion. A holding call would negate the conversion and push Marquette back to attempt again. The chose to kick a field goal, Ryland Kohler would hit it down the middle from 37 yards out and put the Redmen within two of the Pioneers.
Marquette wouldn’t find an answer to the ground attack of the Pioneers. As they were able to run through the defense and end their series with Weldon breaking the plane with a five yard touchdown rush. Clare would pull away once again, 33-24.
The Redmen would find themselves pinned on their own side of the field. On second down on their own 14 yard line, Austin Ridl would find a castless Owen Beauchamp for an 86 yard touchdown reception. A successful two-point conversion put the Redmen within one of the Pioneers, 33-32.
4th QTR: The Pioneers wouldn’t be able to move the chains the possession following the Beauchamp touchdown, and were forced to punt the ball away to Marquette. After a couple incomplete passes Marquette would run a screen pass allowing Desmond Mullen to find open field for a 45 yard gain. Marquette at first and goal would hand it to Nate Benninger for the rushing touchdown. The two point conversion was successful giving Marquette their first lead of the game, 40-33.
Clare would respond by running their way down into the redzone. Runs from Warner and Weldon would bring them to a 1st and goal with Weldon punching it in for the score. The point after attempt was no good however and the Pioneers still trailed by one. Marquette would attempt to eat as much clock as they could by running the ball. With the Redmen facing a third and short they took to the air and were intercepted.
The Pioneers would start the drive on their own 15 yard line with just over a minute left. After a 22 yard reception by Warner it would bring up a fresh set of downs. After crossing into Marquette territory the Pioneers would rush to the ball and spike it to stop the clock. However, none of the officials would mark the down leading to Clare getting a fifth down. Marquette would hold tough and keep Clare out of the endzone and close the night out with a great win in what is surly an instant classic in Upper Peninsula football.
FINAL: Marquette 40, Clare 39
The Redmen are back next Friday night as they look to win the Great Northern Conference outright with a win against the Menominee Maroons at home. The Elder Agency Pregame show starts at 6:20 with kickoff following at 7pm on 103.3 WFXD!