Flivvers blank Knights
First game between schools since 1989
KINGSFORD — Six different Flivvers scored touchdowns as Kingsford defeated Norway, 42-0, Saturday afternoon at Flivver Field. It was the first varsity football meeting between the two schools since 1989.
The non-conference matchup came about within a couple of hours Friday morning, after the coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench into schedules for the second week of the season.
“I credit Norway and am thankful that they wanted to play us today,” Kingsford head coach Mark Novara said. “It gave our guys and their guys a chance to play football this week.”
The shorthanded Knights brought eight JV players with them for the game, and the size and speed of the Flivvers was just too much for Norway to overcome.
“The kids played hard all game,” Norway head coach Scott Popp said. “They had a bit of nervousness about them in the first half, I think, because of who we were playing. But they snapped out of it and seemed to enjoy playing against our neighbors, who are their friends as well.”
Popp also noted that getting to play the game instead of being off this week was valuable.
“Playing a good team like Kingsford will help us get better ourselves,” he said.
Kingsford got on the scoreboard on their first drive, with a nine-play drive, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Carter Kreski. The Flivvers’ second scoring drive was a three-play drive, with Caleb Boone scoring on a one-yard run.
The next Kingsford drive stalled and kicker Diego Przeslakowski, who had five successful extra points in the game, missed a 46-yard field goal attempt. Kingsford linebacker Trestan Larson intercepted a Gannon Bray pass.
Midway through the second quarter, Kingsford got on the scoreboard again when quarterback Mike Meneguzzo found Zach Person for a 16-yard touchdown, putting the Flivvers ahead 21-0.
Kingsford scored one more time before halftime on a 19-yard run by Toby Wilcox, taking a 28-0 lead into the break. Near the end of the second quarter on a punt, Kingsford sophomore Cole Myllyla was receiving a punt and signaled for a fair catch. He mishandled it, and the ball ended up in the hands of Norway’s Evan Anderson.
On Norway’s final possession before the half, Kingsford’s Paul Ruesch recorded his first of two sacks in the game, stalling Norway’s drive. On the final play of the half, Norway’s Gabe Hautamaki sacked Meneguzzo.
Norway punted following their second drive of the second half, and Myllyla returned it 69 yards for a touchdown. With the score 35-0, the running clock rule was in effect for the remainder of the contest.
The Flivvers added their sixth and final touchdown of the game, late in the fourth quarter, as Regan Johnson scored from four yards out. Caleb Boone made a successful point after kick, to put the score at 42-0.
“Our kids did some nice things today, made some great plays,” Novara said. “We were able to get all of our players in the game today, which is always a great thing.”
Kingsford totaled 435 yards in the game – 218 rushing, 81 passing and 136 in the return game. Meneguzzo was 6-of-9 for 81 yards passing, while teammate Al Johnson led the Flivvers in tackles with six. Novara noted that Meneguzzo had a nice game passing the ball.
The Knights (0-2) travel to Bark River-Harris on Friday for a West PAC Conference Iron Division matchup. The Flivvers (2-0) remain home to host Marquette in Great Northern Conference action on the same night.
NOTES: Kingsford sports historian Art Viens gathered some additional facts about the Kingsford-Norway series. With Saturday’s win, Kingsford leads the all-time series 32-26-7. The series started in 1926 and ran continuously until 1989. Kingsford lost the first 10 years in a row to Norway, Viens noted. . . One of the game officials Saturday afternoon played for Norway in the 1989 matchup. Gary Lofholm, was a junior guard and linebacker on Norway’s squad that season. . . Scott Bray, father of Norway’s Gannon Bray, was a junior on Norway’s 1978 team that tied the Flivvers 8-8 at Flivver Field.
NORWAY 0 0 0 0 – 0
KINGSFORD 14 14 7 7 – 42
K– Carter Kreski 1 yard run (Diego Przeslakowski kick) 7–0 (8:04)
K– Caleb Boone 1 yard run (Przeslakowski kick) 14-0 (2:33)
K– Zach Person 16 yard pass from Mike Meneguzzo (Przeslakowski kick) 21-0 (7:07)
K — Toby Wilcox 19 yard run (Przeslakowski kick) 28-0 (4:38)
K– Cole Myllyla 69 yard punt return (Przeslakowski kick) 35-0 (6:58)
K– Regan Johnson 4 yard run (Boone kick) 42-0 (4:57)