NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Negaunee Miners football team spent Thanksgiving on the road from the Upper Peninsula to Detroit. They are putting their U.P. power to the test on Friday against Grand Rapids West Catholic.

The Falcons took home their most recent state title in 2017. For Negaunee, it’s been 20 years since they’ve hoisted the hardware.

Earlier in the season, the 2002 state championship team had a homecoming celebration. Following the Miners win, they had a chance to impart some wisdom on this year’s team.

Before heading downstate, the 2022 squad took time on Wednesday afternoon to visit with the next generation of Miners at Lakeview Elementary.

Negaunee played their way through Gladstone to reach the state semi-finals.

In a snowy matchup against Reed City, Negaunee took control to punch their ticket to the finals with a 13-12 win.

Along with Head Coach Paul Jacobson, the Miners have relied on the leadership of players like Philip Nelson to keep the team on target.

Bolstering the Negaunee roster is a host of talent. Many of them acknowledged this week when the 2022 UPSSA All-UP 11-Player teams were announced.

Friday’s matchup at Ford Field kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Local 3 News will have a crew at the game.