Ishpeming Shocks Hudson

Mark Marana runs with the ball in the 1975 State ChampionshipIshpeming Quarterback Mark Marana runs with the ball in the 1975 State Championship.November 22, 1975 was a watershed day in U.P. sports. For over 50 years, the best high school football teams from throughout the U.P. had been denied an opportu­nity to play their counterparts in the Lower Peninsula in a true state championship. Rather, there was a mythical championship given out by the State's sports writers. But that all changed in 1975, when the Michi­gan High School Athletic Association held its first of­ficial state championship tournament.

On that very day in Mount Pleasant, the Ishpeming Hematites found themselves in a tough spot. Not only were they playing for their first state football title in 70 years, but they were playing the much-vaunted and dominant Hudson Tigers. Hudson entered the game with a national record winning streak of 72 consecu­tive games. During an eight-year period, they had not allowed more than 21 points in any game. Anticipa­tion for the game was great, but the odds were heavily in Hudson's favor. Still, the Tigers had never played a team from the U.P. before and on that date, they met their match.

Ishpeming Coach Mike MileskiIshpeming players celebrate the victory by hoisting Coach Mike Mileski onto their shoulders.Led by a backfield duo of Mark Marana, quarterback, and Mike Dellangello at running back, Hudson could not stop Ishpeming's powerful option-driven offense. The Hematites scored 24 points in the first quarter on their way to a 38-22 victory. Dellangelo led the way with over 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns. It was a stunning victory celebrated not only by fans from Ishpeming but across the U.P. As Ishpeming coach Mike Mileski said to the press after the game, "I've been trying to tell you guys, we play pretty good football in the Upper Peninsula."

Meanwhile across the state in Kalamazoo, Crystal Falls - Forest Park...

Running Back Mike DellangelloRunning Back
Mike Dellangello
Quarterback Mark MaranaQuarterback
Mark Marana
Ishpeming HematitesIshpeming Hematites
1975 Class C State Champs

Images courtesy of Craig Remsburg, Mining Journal

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