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Hortonville spoils Flivvers opener

(Ron Deuter/The Daily News) Kingsford’s Tyler Kopp drops back to pass during the first half against Hortonville Friday night at Flivver Field.

KINGSFORD – Kingsford, which had difficulties filling its non conference football schedule, found itself outmatched in a hurry Friday night in its home opener at Flivver Field.

The Flivvers fell 57-13 to undefeated Hortonville, a school near Appleton, Wis. that showed a varsity roster of 49 players.

“We knew what we were getting into with this team,” Flivvers head coach Mark Novara said. “They’re the best team we’ll see all season. Our focus tonight was to find ways to improve our team regardless of the score. And there were some positives for us.”

One positive Novara cited was traction in the ground game, as the Flivvers managed 125 yards, led by Logan Normand’s 90 yards on 23 carries. Normand got the Flivvers on the scoreboard in the final seconds of the

first half with a one-yard plunge. That was after quarterback Tyler Kopp connected with Chris Carollo for a long pass play down to near the goal line.

Kopp finished 4-for-13 for 95 yards, but his first attempt of the game was picked by Trevor Balboa. That set Hortonville (4-0) up at the Flivver 20 and four plays later the Polar Bears cashed in as Kyle Allen hit Jayqon Owens on a corner route for a five-yard score.

After the Flivvers went three and out on their next try, the Polar Bears only needed one play to up the margin to two touchdowns, as Allen bombed one down the sidelines to TJ Payne for a 67-yard strike.

Kingsford crossed midfield for the first time late in the first quarter, needing to convert a fourth and one to do so, but the Flivvers misfired on a fourth and six from the Hortonville 34.

Allen and Payne hooked up again a few plays later early in the second quarter, this time for 40 yards to make it 20-0 for the visitors from the Appleton.

A high snap on a Kingsford punt attempt resulted in a safety as Flivvers punter Ben Stanish did all he could to recover the ball and simply ran out the back of the end zone,making it 22-0 visitors.

Hortonville marched right down the field on the ensuing possession and capped another scoring drive with a one-yard plunge by Chase Hughes. A 20-yard hook-up from Allen to Parker Lawrence followed by a PAT from female place kicker McKenna Gervais made it 36-0 with 1:53 to play in the half.

Jose Concepcion plowed in for a 13-yard score to bring on a running clock early in the third quarter. The Polar Bears added two more scores on special teams, getting 60 and 56 yard punt returns. They also added two more rushing tallies on distances of 18 and 20 yards.

Kingsford added a fourth-quarter touchdown when backup quarterback Hunter Bilgreen connected with Miles Slingsby.

“To play a top quality football team like Hortonville and be able to get over 100 yards rushing was a big step for us,” Novara said. “We cut down on our penalties. Sure, we did some things to hurt ourselves, but in a game like this we needed all the little things to go perfect and have the all breaks go our way. We obviously didn’t get that here tonight.”

Another positive for the Flivvers was emerging from the contest injury free.

“I’m proud of the guys,” Novara said. “They never got down. They kept fighting and kept playing. Now we head into conference play and I feel like we’re right in the mix with this thing. I feel we can do well from here on out. Our football team will be just fine.”

The Flivvers (1-2) open Great Northern Conference play Friday at Gladstone.

Hortonville 14 22 14 7 – 57

Kingsford 0 6 0 6 – 13

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