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November 24, 2012The first game of the day between Ishpeming and Detroit Loyola was thought to be the blowout of the weekend by Detroit Loyola. But it was anything but as it turned out to be one of the best games as it went down to the wire.
It started in surprising style as Loyola went three and out to open the game. Followed by a Ishpeming scoring on a 55 yard run by senior Eric Kostreva. They failed on the two point conversion but still led 6-0 one of the first times all year that Detroit Loyola have trailed. And they held onto that lead until halfway through the 2nd quarter. When Loyola went on a 14 play and 73 yard drive that ended in senior quarterback Tony Sharpe threw his only completion of the half for a touchdown to Keymonn'e Gabriel for a 26 yard pass. Sharpe went 5 of 11 for 61 yards and a touchdown. The score would remain the same, at halftime the score was Detroit Loyola 8 and Ishpeming 6.
Ishpeming started the 2nd half receiving the kickoff and they went on a long 58 yard drive that took 5minutes ending it with another Kostreva touchdown, this time from three yards out. But Detroit Loyola answers with a long drive of itself a 5minute 52 yard drive that ended with a 20 yard touchdown run by Keymonn'e Gabriel. Gabriel finished with 21 carries for 131 yards and one touchdown. That was the end of the 3 quarter where Loyola led Ishpeming 14-12.
Ishpeming started the 4th the only way they knew how running the ball with Kostreva who busted a big run for 60 yards before he finally punched it in from 3 yards out. This touchdown made the score 20-14 Ishpeming. He was the work horse for Ishpeming and he carried them on his back to the finish line carrying the ball 20 times for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Too add to Kostreva impressive day he also had 16 tackles on the defensive side of the ball. His quarterback and running mate Alex Briones also had 20 carries but he only has 58 yards and was 2 for 4 for 29 yards.
Following the touchdown Loyola led a long drive down to the Ishpeming 8 yard line but from there were stonewalled on 4th and 1 by the Hematite's defense. Allowing them to take over the ball on there own 9 yard line with 5:36 to go in the game. From there it got interesting when on 4th and 1 on their 18 yard line. They called two timeouts after the Ishpeming players persuaded the coach to go for it on 4th and 1 and it paid off. As they were able to bring the clock down to 1:27 before punting the ball away.
"If someone offers me a fourth down and inches for a state title, we are going to go for it," said Coach Olson.
Loyola then had to go 72 yards in 1:15 with no timeouts. From there Ishpeming held on to win 20-14 from there it got emotional for the team and the city. They dedicated this victory and season to Daniel and Derrick. Daniel was coach Jeff Olson's 19 year old son who died last year. He was the star quarterback of the Ishpeming team two years ago that came to the state championship game. Derrick was QB Alex Briones' older brother who died in 2011 in traffic accident.
"Once I got on the football field, it was a relief, and its because of these guys. These guys made it comfortable for me," said Coach Olson about his son's death and his team rallying around it.
After these unfortunate tragedies Ishpeming was able to rally around their deaths and becoming a team on their way to the D7 State Champion title.