By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD - Kingsford proved near unstoppable Saturday in the 89th football meeting with Iron Mountain.
Theresa Proudfit/The Daily News Photos
Kingsford’s Brody Sundquist attempts to slip the grasp of Iron Mountain’s Jack Merrill (48) in Saturday’s game at Flivver Field.
Kingsford quarterback Joe Hofer encounters pressure from Grant Bales (69) and Jacob Cousineau (50).
Junior back Brody Sundquist rambled for 211 yards and two touchdowns in triggering a 48-21 romp at soggy Flivver Field. Kingsford produced points on six of its first seven possessions.
"I thought we did some good things," said Coach Chris Hofer, whose Flivvers struggled in back-to-back losses to Menominee and Marquette. "It was nice to see us execute our offense.
"We prepared hard and the kids were really focused. That was a big point of emphasis this week after the Marquette fiasco. People were doing their job and good things happen when that's the case."
Kingsford built a 21-0 lead in the first half and Iron Mountain closed to 14 points twice in the game. But a couple situations hampered the Mountaineers.
"We got outplayed by a pretty good football team," Iron Mountain Coach Robin Marttila said. "We played hard and competed. We just didn't have enough to slow them down. We couldn't get a stop."
Kingsford's offense clicked right from the start. Sundquist took a flare pass from Joe Hofer, found a path-clearing block from Austin Stanchina and took off for 75 yards.
"It feels great," Sundquist said of the Flivvers' day. "It was close last year (10-0) and I'm glad we put up some points this year.
"The sweeps, outside plays and leads were looking good. I had great blocking."
Sundquist also covered six yards on a third-quarter scoring pass from Hofer. The junior scooted 71 yards to the Mountaineer one in setting up a 14-0 difference. He also had two touchdowns - one of 82 yards - nullified by penalty.
"Brody did a nice job," Hofer said. "He's a good back and can do stuff like that.
"I thought we blocked well on the perimeter. We executed well on many facets of the game."
The Flivvers racked up 530 yards total offense, with 11 running backs collecting 384 yards and Joe Hofer completing seven of eight passes for 146 yards.
"Sundquist is a good football player and he hurt us," Marttila said. "We knew their speed and athleticism would pose some challenges for us and it did. That was evident."
Iron Mountain nearly answered Kingsford's first score. The Mountaineers, keyed by a dandy 24-yard slant pass from Craig Qualley to Jack Merrill, reached the Flivver 8 but couldn't move past the five. Sacks from Daniel Harrington and Dan Fleming sent the Mountaineers back to the 25.
"That was a big turning point," Marttila noted. "We had a couple breakdowns offensively."
The Flivvers sacked Qualley five times in the game - three in the first half. The Mountaineers managed 216 yards total offense - 94 on the ground with a team-high 55 from James Christiansen.
"The key there was getting them into a second and long and third and long so we could do some of that stuff (pressure)," Hofer said. "That was big for us."
Tyler Roberts and Alex Patterson punched in a pair of scores for a 21-0 cushion with 8:48 left in the second quarter. The Mountaineers struck back with a 60-yard drive as Christiansen plowed 17 yards and Merrill grabbed a 20-yard pass to the Flivver 23.
Qualley, throwing well when given time, fired a 23-yard touchdown pass to Brock Grenier.
After Roberts bulldozed five yards for a 28-7 margin, Iron Mountain rallied with Christiansen crashing home from the three. A 45-yard pass to a wide-open Justin Rock put the ball at the three.
"We had some secondary screw-ups today but other than that we did a nice job," Hofer said.
Iron Mountain's hopes of slashing a 28-14 halftime margin ended quickly. With the Mountaineers at midfield to start the third quarter, Christiansen attempted his first pass of the season and Dylan Tengesdahl intercepted at the 25.
Kingsford responded with a 12-play, 4-minute drive capped by Patterson's second score.
"That was a horrendous call," Marttila said in shouldering the blame. "Then it went downhill from there. We fought to the end and went down swinging."
Sundquist's six-yard touchdown run boosted the Flivver spread to 42-14 after three periods.
"That was a big play to start the half," Hofer said of the Tengesdahl theft. "I was just happy to see us come out in the second half and just run our base stuff, and run it well."
In the final quarter, Mason Schinderle romped 23 yards for an IM score. Kingsford's Tyler Curran ran 10 yards to the seven and another time from there for the final touchdown.
Both the coach and Sundquist said the Flivvers made no major adjustments after losing the past two games.
"Not really," Sundquist said. "We just put in more plays and focused on blocking better."
Kingsford (5-2) travels to Gladstone on Friday for Great Northern Conference play. Iron Mountain (3-4), needing two more wins to become playoff eligible, hosts Escanaba on Friday.
"We would have liked to play better," Marttila said. "That wasn't our best performance on either side of the ball. We got humbled by a good football team.
"They just executed better than us. The blocked and tackled a lot better than we did. The bottom line, we couldn't stop them."
Iron Mountain 0 14 0 7 - 21
Kingsford 14 14 14 6 - 48
K - Brody Sundquist 75 pass from Joe Hofer (Tyler Waisanen kick), 11:39.
K - Tyler Roberts 2 run (Waisanen kick), 2:49.
K - Alex Patterson 2 run (Waisanen kick), 8:48.
IM - Brock Grenier 23 pass from Craig Qualley (Qualley kick), 6:10.
K - Roberts 5 run (Waisanen kick), 3:52.
IM - James Christiansen 3 run (Qualley kick), 1:27.
K - Patterson 1 run (Waisanen kick), 7:15.
K - Sundquist 6 run (Waisanen kick), 1:51.
IM - Mason Schinderle 23 run (Qualley kick), 4:20.
K - Tyler Curran 7 run (kick failed), 3:06.
Total offense - Kingsford 530 (384 rushing, 146 passing), Iron Mountain 216 (94 rushing, 122 passing).
First downs - Kingsford 24, Iron Mountain 13.
Rushing - K, Hofer 3-minus 17, Sundquist 15-211, Patterson 10-59, Tengesdahl 2-10, Roberts 9-51, Schaut 1-minus 2, Allen 3-25, Wahoviak 3-10, Ferree 3-20, Martonen 1-3, Curran 2-17; IM, Qualley 6-minus 43; Rock 7-19, Christiansen 13-55, Grenier 1-minus 2, Mielcarek 6-31, Schinderle 3-34.
Passing - K, Hofer, 7-8-0, 146; IM, Qualley 6-8-1, 122.
Receiving - K, Sundquist 1-75, Schaut 2-25, Stanchina 3-33, Fleming 1-15; IM, Grenier 3-33, Merrill 2-44, Rock 1-33.
Interceptions - K, Tengesdahl.
Penalties - K, 4-34; IM, 1-5.
TWIN CITY NOTES: Iron Mountain leads the series 45-41-3 ... Junior kicker Tyler Waisanen connected on six of seven extra-points ... Marttila on holding Flivver standout Cole Tengesdahl to just 10 yards: "Tengesdahl didn't do much but he didn't have to because they were running the ball so effectively." ... Out of Kingsford's 10 offensive series, seven produced points. Two started in the final minute of each half and a turnover nixed the other ... Levi Verrette recovered a fourth-quarter fumble, Kingsford's lone turnover ... Joe Hofer was sacked three times in the first half ... Luke Wahoviak recovered a fumble on the Mountaineers' final series of the game with 27 seconds left ... Qualley made two touchdown-saving tackles on plays by Sundquist and Roberts ... Iron Mountain's initial first down of the second half came at the 7:11 mark of the fourth quarter ... The 50-50 prize drawing was $1,175 ...