By Craig Marx, Editor
For the sixth time in six seasons, the Antigo Red Robins were unable to keep pace with the high-octane play of the Menominee (Mich.) Maroons, losing 34-7 in the Robins final non-conference game of the 2016 season on Friday evening.
The Maroons put up 390 yards of total offense on the Robins, the vast majority of which came on 313 yards on the ground and a 101-yard rushing performance from senior Sam Larson. Antigo had difficulties shutting down the 5’ 10”, 185 lbs. back running out of the Maroons’ single-wing back formation for most of the evening.
The Robins were unable to find a rhythm early on, leading to back-to-back scores for the Maroons on their first two possessions. Menominee forced an interception by junior quarterback Matt Winter on Antigo’s first drive, while holding the Robins to a three-and-out on the Antigo’s ensuing offensive possession.
The Maroons scored their second touchdown of the evening after a five-yard rush by Larson, giving Menominee a 14-0 lead with 2:29 remaining in the first quarter.
Keeping the Antigo offense at bay for the majority of the first half, the Maroons later converted a 4th and 17 with a 22-yard TD reception for Larsen resulting from a well-executed hook and ladder play. With the end of the second quarter, the Robins found themselves trailing 21-0.
The Maroons were set to receive the second half kickoff, but after a series of kicks that went out of bounds, Menominee ended up with great starting field position as well as a commanding lead. A later fumble on the possession was recovered by the Robins, breathing a little life back into the Antigo faithful.
The Antigo offense would not get going until it was too late. After capitalizing on good field position once again following the previous turnover, Larson punched a TD rush in from eight yards out to give Menominee a 27-0 lead with 3:34 remaining in the third quarter.
Following 28-yard scoring jaunt for Larson once again, this time with 10:43 left in the game, the Robins were looking at a virtually inescapable 34-0 hole. The highlight of the night for Antigo came later in the final quarter when junior running back Adam Schmidt took the ball 75 yards downfield for a score, helping the Robins escape the shutout at 34-7.
Schmidt led the Robins with 93 yards on seven carries, while Jericho Kelly added 29 yards on 13 touches. The Robins compiled 219 yards of total offense, with Schmidt’s fourth quarter sprint and score making up the lion’s share of 160 yards on the ground.
Antigo will enter the Great Northern Conference portion of its schedule this coming week, hosting Ashland at 7 p.m. on Friday from Schofield Stadium. Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend in the meantime.