By BURT ANGELI
KINGSFORD - Kingsford, one win away from locking up a berth in the state playoffs, travels to winless Gladstone on Friday. Kick-off for the Great Northern Conference game is 6:30 p.m.
"I would like to see us keep improving," said Coach Chris Hofer, whose Flivvers dominated Iron Mountain 48-21 in Saturday's 89th meeting between the Twin City rivals. "Hopefully, we're back on track to playing well."
Kingsford (5-2 overall, 0-2 GNC) was coming off losses to Menominee and Marquette before the Flivver offense racked up 530 yards against the Mountaineers.
Six wins in a nine-game schedule guarantees a state playoff berth. The Flivvers host Escanaba next week to complete the regular season.
Gladstone (0-7, 0-3) suffered a 41-16 loss to Escanaba last week. The Braves did show some offensive success, with Tyler Wells rushing for 119 of the team's 196 total yards.
"They're an 0-and-7 team but I think they're better than 0-and-7," Hofer said. "They have moved the ball against good people. They moved the ball against Menominee and against Marquette a little bit. They just haven't been able to sustain anything."
Gladstone Coach Cody Kangas called the red zone offense his team's "Achilles heel."
"We drive the field, do a good job, get inside the 20 and we just kind of stall," said Kangas, whose Braves held an 8-7 lead over the Eskymos with two minutes left in the first half.
Braves tailback Riley Ballard suffered a concussion in practice and missed the Escanaba game. Starting quarterback Sam Pouliot left the game with a leg injury.
"They've got some good players," Hofer said. "They just haven't been able to put it altogether."
NOTES: Ed Sexton recorded eight tackles and Jake Allen had seven in the Iron Mountain game. Sexton tallied 15 defensive points; Daniel Harrington, 11, and Allen and Cole Tengesdahl, 10.