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Mounders trip Hilltoppers to remain unbeaten

ELK MOUND – The Elk Mound football team battled the Glenwood City Hilltoppers through a scoreless first half but received a wake up call in the third quarter as they put 21 points up on the way to a 28-12 win on their home field Sept. 14. With the regular season half over, the Mounders sit alone at the top of the conference at 3-0 and are 4-0 overall.

“This was one great high school football game,” Elk Mound coach Dan Pedersen said. “Glenwood was every bit as good as we thought they would be. They change a lot of things from week to week and their coach (Shane Strong) does a nice job with them. Both teams had chances to score in the first half but neither one of us could finish off a drive. I was pleased at how our defense bent but didn’t break.”

Elk Mound had two good scoring chances in the first half, according to Pedersen, but an interception ended one drive and a stuffed run on fourth and one near the Toppers 10 yard line halted another. Glenwood had some key penalties and a fumble to end two of their drives in the half.

The passing game came to life for the Mounders after the break and opened up the running game as Jordan Klemp ran the ball in for a score off a fake screen pass from 38 yards out. Ryan Mueller booted the first of four extra point kicks for a 7-0 lead with 8:57 left in the quarter. The Hilltoppers responded however as Jeff Kopacz took off on a 52-yard sprint for six points just a couple of minutes later but the two-point run was stopped. The Mounders added two more scores before the quarter ended as quarterback Nick Heit connected with Will Miller from eight yards out at the 3:21 mark of the quarter, then Heit hit Dakota Tarnow with a 56 yard strike with 1:19 left for a 21-6 lead.

Klemp finished off the scoring for Elk Mound with a 26 yard jaunt halfway through the fourth stanza and the Toppers scored with just over a minute left on another run by Kopacz from four yards out.

“We gave up the one long run to Kopacz but otherwise our defense really played well tonight,” Pedersen said. “This was the best team we have played all year and it was a good, clean, hard hitting game,” he added.

Both teams finished with 13 first down and were close in total yardage as the Mounders finished with 333 and the Toppers had 295. Klemp carried the ball 20 times for 121 yards, Heit passed 19 times, completing 13 of them for 187 yards with Tarnow snaring three of them for 80 yards while Miller grabbed four for 63 yards and Nate Mack snagged four himself for 30 yards.
Elk Mound travels to Minnesota this Friday for a non-conference game against Dover-Eyota while the Toppers return home to host Colfax.