Marinette quarterback Marcus Maguire breaks the tackle attempt of Denmark’s Logan Gezella in the first half Friday at Higley Stadium. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Marinette quarterback Marcus Maguire breaks the tackle attempt of Denmark’s Logan Gezella in the first half Friday at Higley Stadium. EagleHerald/Jody Korch
MARINETTE - The Marinette Marines found a few playmakers and gained a confidence-boosting victory Friday night.

Marinette weathered the storm early and surged to a 22-7 Bay Conference football win over Denmark at Higley Stadium.

"Feels a helluva lot better than last week," said first-year head coach Andy Walters, who earned his first career victory.

Coming off a turnover-plagued lopsided loss to Seymour, the Marines could have been thinking "here we go again" early. A bad punt snap on Marinette's first possession gave the Vikings the ball at the Marine 25-yard line, but the defense stiffened and Marcus Maguire intercepted a fourth-down pass.

Two plays later, Denmark's Jake VandenHeuvel recovered a fumbled pitch at the Marine 5-yard line. Fullback Devon Oswald blasted in from there, Jesse Krueger kicked the conversion, and Denmark led 7-0 with 5:45 in the first quarter.

"Offensively in the first half we were having some flashbacks," Walters said.

Instead of worrying about what might go wrong next, the Marines answered with an eight-play, 66-yard scoring drive. Maguire scored on a 10-yard run with 2:31 in the first quarter. It was a busted play, so Maguire just took off up the middle.

The extra-point snap was botched, so Denmark led 7-6.

The teams traded turnovers throughout the first half. When the Vikings dropped a bubble screen pass behind the line, safety Adam Behrens alertly pounced on the ball at the Denmark 38. Cody Aschenbrenner's interception was nullified by a roughing the passer penalty, and Maguire kept the drive alive with a 14-yard run on fourth-and-11. That set up Austin Mahlik's 20-yard field goal with 20 seconds in the half.

The day before, Mahlik scored four goals and an assist in Marinette's soccer victory.
Denmark's first play of the second half - an option pitch - was a backbreaker. Behrens hit the pitch man as the ball arrived, Josh Lapacz scooped it up, and ran 25 yards for a touchdown.

"When you run guys to the football good things will happen," Walters said. "I think that deflated them a little bit."

Mahlik's extra point put the Marines ahead 16-7 with 11:43 in the third quarter.

"We lost the game," Denmark coach Chris Haese said. "They played well, but we lost. We have a young team and they lost their focus."

Denmark answered with a 64-yard drive which featured Oswald on fullback dives. But the Marine defense stiffened, and Jimmy Jackimowicz blocked Krueger's 25-yard field goal try.

Marinette lost a fumble and the Vikings kept a drive alive with Tanner Umentum's 10-yard pass to Aschenbrenner on a fake punt. But after a touchdown run was nullified by an illegal shift, Jackimowicz blitzed from his safety position and sacked Nicholas Kufalk for a 13-yard loss. The drive ended in a fourth-and-goal incompletion.

Marinette then chewed up 7:25 of the clock with an 87-yard drive, capped by Caylubb Maske's 10-yard TD run with 22 seconds left.

"Our line did a great job firing off the ball," Maguire said. "Great defense the whole game. The first half, the offense struggled."

Starting linebackers Marcus Whipp and Jacob Vogel went out with injuries in the first quarter, and the Marines exploited the Vikings' defense. The Marines ground out 260 rushing yards.

"It was a huge impact," Haese said. "Two of our best players, we lose them."

The shifty, resourceful Maguire rushed for 104 yards with 17 carries.

"He made a lot of heads-up plays," Walters said.

Both teams are now 1-1.

"We were the aggressor," according to Walters. "We were the attacker instead of the reactor."

Marinette 22, Denmark 7

First quarter

D - Devon Oswald 5-yard run (Jesse Krueger kick), 5:45
M - Marcus Maguire 10-yard run (kick failed), 2:31

Second quarter

M - Austin Mahlik 20-yard field goal, :20
Third quarter
M - Josh Lapacz 25-yard fumble return (Mahlik kick), 11:43

Fourth quarter

M - Caylubb Maske 10-yard run (kick failed), 22.2

RUSHING (Marinette): Maguire 17-104, Maske 14-65, Colton Dessart 11-56, Alex Servatius 4-31; (Denmark): Oswald 19-93, Zachary Pantzlaff 2-39

PASSING (Marinette): Maguire 3-10-15; (Denmark): Jonathan Deprey 2-4-7, Nicholas Kufalk 1-2-2, Tanner Umentum 1-10

RECEIVING (Marinette): Jake Holley 2-15; (Denmark): Cody Aschenbrenner 1-10
ANTIGO, Wis. - Antigo went undefeated at its home turf on the way to the playoffs last season, but the home invasion alarm went off early when Menominee rolled into Schofield Stadium Friday night.

The Maroons scored on their first two drives of the season and the defense posted its first shutout since 2007 in a 20-0 win over the Red Robins.

"Antigo was unbeaten at home last year and it's easy to see why," said coach Joe Noha. "They a physical and scrappy team. I'm really proud of the kids. The effort was awesome."

Menominee overcame first-game gremlins - three turnovers and execution glitches - and a proud Antigo team that was smarting from last week's 47-0 loss to West De Pere.

After Antigo was stuffed on its first series, a booming 69-yard punt by Josh Hale pinned the Maroons back to their own 1.

Devon Barley got in space, snared a pass from Justin Brilinski on the third Maroon play of the game for a 44-yard gain to the Antigo 34.

Brilinski and Nate Marcin hooked up for a 6-yard completion.

On third-and-goal at the 5, Brilinski dove into the end zone to close out the impressive 99-yard march.

Matt Wolter scampered 14 yards on a keeper to the Maroon 39 late in the first quarter. A holding flag shoved the Red Robins back to their own 44 and the threat sputtered out at the 35.

Brilinski found Shaun Sullivan open over the middle and connected with the speedy senior for a 39-yard strike to the Antigo 26.

James Brown busted through the birds for a 21-yard blast to the 1. Brilinski slipped over two plays later. Brilinski flipped to Barley for the two-point conversion to stretch the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter.

Wolter busted though a line of tackles en route to a 14-yard jaunt to the Antigo 45. Pass interference and holding penalties carried Antigo to the 29 before a flag on the Red Robins' pushed them into a fourth and 18 at the 34. Chase LaCombe fired through to bury Wolter for a 9-yard sack to cap off the defensive stand.

Brown bulled through Antigo for a 13-yard reception after a pass from Brilinski. Antigo poured through the trenches to sack Brilinski and the Red Robins picked off a fourth and 12 pass at the 16.

The defense got the ball back for Menominee at its own 42 with 40 seconds left in the half. Brilinski connected with Barley on a 28-yard pass to the Red Robins' 30. Evan Pohlmann's 42-yard field goal try fell short.

Sullivan showed off his track speed on the opening kick of the second half as he rocketed past the Red Robins to the Antigo 36. But the scoring opportunity fizzled out at the 30.

Wolter got to the edge and darted 70 yards to paydirt, but the Red Robins' eighth penalty wiped out Antigo's first TD since its second-last game in 2012.

Barley kept the Maroons' next series alive when he grabbed a 10-yard toss from Brilinski on third and 6 at the Maroon 37. On fourth and 5 at the Red Robins' 47, Antigo notched its second pick of the game.

"There are things we have to look at and execute better," Noha said. "Turnovers are never good."

The Menominee defense dug in again to ice a red-zone drive late in the third quarter.

Wolter ripped through the Maroons for a 21-yard gallop to the Menominee 41. The Red Robins drove to the 14 when the Maroons jarred the ball loose and Michael Mann covered the loose ball.

Hard running by Brown and Brilinski spearheaded a 51-yard march, with Brilinski outracing the Red Robins for a 10-yard scoring run with 8:58 remaining.

Sullivan turned the ball over to the Maroon reserves when he speared a fumble at the Antigo 28. Pohlmann's 39-yard field goal attempt sailed off to the left with 2:48 left.

Jake Mali put the Maroon shutout in jeopardy again when he broke loose for a 42-yard run to the Menominee 38. On fourth and 7, the Maroons stopped Mali just short of a first down.

"We sustained drives when we had to," said Noha. "The kids were resilient."

Menominee 20, Antigo 0

Menominee 6 8 0 6 - 20
Antigo 0 0 0 0- 0

First Quarter

M - Justin Brilinski 5 run. Kick blocked
Second Quarter
M - Brilinski 1 run. Devon Barley pass from Brilinski

Fourth Quarter

M - Brilinski 10 run. Pass failed

RUSHING: Menominee 130 yards (James Brown 13-76; Justin Brilinski 17-41; Devon Barley 3-6) Antigo 198 yards (Matt Wolter 22-114; Jake Mali 17-84)

PASSING: Menominee (Brilinski 9-14-171 2 INT) Antigo (Wolter 4-9-20)

RECEIVING: Menominee (Devon Barley 3-83; Shaun Sullivan 3-64) Antigo (Hale 2-17; Jake Zakowski 1-14)