By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD - The Kingsford Flivvers, by all indications, are through the toughest part of the football schedule.
That doesn't mean they can relax Friday when Great Northern Conference foe Gladstone (2-5 overall, 0-3 GNC) invades Flivver Field. Kick-off is 6:30 p.m.
"We've come off four pretty hard games in a row," said Kingsford Coach Chris Hofer when asked about a letdown after Saturday's battle with Iron Mountain. "We're just trying to keep our kids up in general."
After losing to then unbeaten La Crosse Central on Sept. 14, Kingsford knocked off GNC foes Menominee and Marquette, and outlasted the Mountaineers 10-0.
Kingsford put up a goal-line stand early in the fourth quarter to decide the game. Mountaineers' Paul Brooks crashed the line four straight times, with the last blast from within the one.
Flivver players credited Hofer for predicting Iron Mountain's offensive play.
"That's just the play to run at the one-inch line," said Hofer, who also considered a quarterback sneak from the Mountaineers. "It wasn't like it was a yard and a half. It was going to be something in there because they were close."
After the stop, Flivver back Reed Larson took over and keyed a 99-yard drive for the final points.
Linebacker Tyler Kovola led the Flivvers in the game with 11 tackles and 15 points (defensive chart). Caleb Harrington tacked on 13 defensive points.
"It was a great atmosphere," Kovola said after the game. "It's hard to come into an opposing field and get a 'W.' It takes a lot of hard work."
Gladstone, hurt by four interceptions, bowed to rival Escanaba 37-25 last week.
"That was a pretty good game," Hofer said. "Those teams get after it pretty good."
Gladstone quarterback Sam Pouliot did complete 9 of 20 passes for 136 yards. Justin Jurek rushed for 147 yards on 16 carries.
"I know Escanaba will remember playing us with the physical style we had," Gladstone Coach Josh Mileski said. "I know moral victories aren't great, but you have to take the positive out of it. We played the best football we're capable of, we never took plays off and we hit some kids.
"We're a young team, so even though we lost, it's good to see we played the whole game."
Kingsford claims a share of the GNC title with a victory.
Other area games follow:
Friday, Oct. 12
Norway (2-5, 0-4) at Gwinn (3-4, 1-3), Mid-Peninsula, 6:30 p.m. - Coach Bob Madigan's Knights hope to slow down the Modeltowners, who defeated Detroit Westside Christian Academy 24-14 for their second straight win.
Gwinn's football program folded up during the 2011 campaign.
"Things are kind of falling into place," said first-year head coach Darren Sinnaeve said. "We had a tough stretch to start the season, playing four of our first five games on the road. Now we've got the last four at home and Homecoming is next week.
"The guys keep working hard in practice, and when you keep plugging away, good things usually start happening."
West Iron County (3-4, 2-3) at Hancock (3-4, 1-3), West PAC, 6 p.m. - Coach Mike Berutti's young Wykons - no seniors starting on defense - need wins in the final two games to be eligible for the playoffs.
Hancock rallied from a 19-11 deficit early in the fourth quarter to stun Ironwood 19-18.
Bulldogs' Ross Micheals rushed for 164 yards on 19 carries.
Bark River-Harris (1-6) at North Central (4-3), 6 p.m. - Coach Kevin Bellefeuil's Jets enter a must-win situation if they hope to make the playoffs. Six wins guarantee a spot; five a possibility.
White Lake/Elcho (3-4, 1-4) at Northern Elite (3-4, 3-2), Northern Lakes, 7 p.m. - Coach Ben Laarman's Predators qualify for the WIAA state playoffs with a win. Teams with a winning conference record automatically advance.
Saturday, Oct. 13
North Dickinson (7-0) at Lake Linden (4-3), 12:30 p.m. - Coach Joe Reddinger's Nordics are shooting for their first unbeaten regular season since 2006.
The ground-oriented Lakes rushed for 231 yards on 47 carries to trim Houghton 22-8.
"Our kids wanted it today and that was evident from the start," Lake Linden Coach Andy Crouch said.
Forest Park (6-1, 3-0) vs. Gogebic (4-2, 3-1) at Wakefield, Great Western, 1 p.m. - Coach Bill Santilli's Trojans clinch a share of the Great Western Conference title by beating the Miners.
Gogebic - a Bessemer, Wakefield and Marenisco co-op - whipped Ontonagon 42-8 as quarterback Eric Lane threw for 124 yards and three touchdowns.