Kingsford well aware of Fondy’s St. Mary’s Springs
The lone meeting may have been 28 years ago but the Kingsford Flivvers are well aware of Saint Mary’s Springs.
The Flivvers fell to the Ledgers 44-22 in a 1990 meeting at Fond du Lac. They square off again Friday on the same site.
“I’ve seen them play for years,” Kingsford Coach Chris Hofer said of the seven-time state champions. “That was a big Menominee rival when my dad (Ken) was coaching. I have a good idea of what they do and what they want to do.”
Legendary coach Bob Hyland has guided Springs to state titles three of the past four years.
Hofer says Hyland runs the veer option on offense.
“He probably changes formations a little bit but the crux of what he does is still the same,” Hofer said. “They come right at you. They’re a hard-hitting team. Some of the hardest-hitting football I have ever seen has been played by Springs, and that was back in the day. You talk about run hard and play hard, that was the Hyland team in the 90s.”
In last week’s 34-0 shutout of three-time defending state champion Amherst, Springs quarterback Mitchell Waechter (6-foot-3, 180) rushed for 127 yards and one score and also completed eight of 18 passes for 93 yards and a score.
“That was a competitive football game,” Hofer said of the game played away from Fond du Lac. “Amherst played them tough. The score didn’t show that it wasn’t a walk-over.”
Waechter, a three-sport athlete, has never lost while quarterbacking the Ledgers. Cade Christensen (6-4, 210), listed at linebacker and wide receiver, also stands out.
“That kid (Waechter) is pretty good and they have a real good wideout,” Hofer said. “Their backs are big and run hard.”
While Springs has chalked up two wins this season by an 85-0 spread, Kingsford is coming off a 14-7 loss to Menasha where starting quarterback and linebacker Luke Terrian suffered a game-ending ankle injury on the first series.
“Wait and see,” Hofer said of Terrian’s status for this week.
The Bluejays checked the Flivvers to 155 yards — 29 on the ground. Backup quarterback Tyler Kopp completed 5 of 12 passes for 103 yards including a 55-yard scoring toss to Marcus Kazianka.
“We had too many negative-yardage plays” Hofer said. “We had too many crucial breakdowns that didn’t need to be breakdowns, whether it was a snap or a whiff or throwing the ball away.”
Hofer said his team had 85 yards in losses.
“You can’t have that many plays for losses and sustain any kind of drive,” Hofer said.
The Flivvers did force four turnovers — Nate Rutter interception and fumble recoveries by Tyler Beauchamp, Jake Viau and Lance Waise.
“The defense played OK, special teams played really good,” said Hofer, noting two fumble recoveries on kick and punt returns. “We had enough turnovers to win. We just didn’t make enough offensive plays to win.
“I doubt if they’ll (Menasha) lose a game. We had our chances with good field position. We had everything going for us. We just couldn’t finish an offensive series.”
Rutter and Beauchamp led the Flivver defense from the secondary.
“Our secondary played really good,” Hofer said.
Rutter had 25 points on the team scoring system, making 14 tackles with six solo. Beauchamp had 14 points with seven tackles. Jon Schmutzler tacked on 12 points with nine tackles, and Jack Zimmerman had 10 with eight.
“We really fought hard and played hard,” Hofer said. “That’s something you hope you always have. I was really happy with our competitive fire in lieu of everything that went wrong in the game.
“We had a lot of guys play a lot of downs, and a lot of them hung tough.”
After Springs, Kingsford hosts Fond du Lac on Friday, Sept. 7, in the home opener.
NOTEBOOK: Florence gained 370 yards rushing in sinking Lena/STAA 44-0. Toby Wheeler accounted for three Bobcat touchdowns … Rapid River rushed for 350 yards in dispatching Ontonagon 38-0 in a Great Lakes Eight crossover game. Tyler Sundling ran 15 times for 205 yards … Gwinn senior running back Seth Aho produced 235 yards rushing and four touchdowns as Gwinn spanked Bark River-Harris 36-20.
“He is a workhorse and a competitor for us,” Gwinn coach Dion Brown said. “Seth can run, he can block, he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He’s the complete package.” … Four Menominee turnovers helped Marinette beat the Maroons 22-20 in the 112th M&M game. The Marines last won the rivalry in 2008 … Coleman moved from a 14-13 halftime lead to 48-19 rout of Crivitz. “We challenged the kids about getting out in front of their blocks,” Coleman Coach Jeff Bronson told the EagleHerald. Noted Crivitz Coach Matt Bernier: “Their trap killed us.” …