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Mounders tripped up by Toppers

GLENWOOD CITY — Although they scored more points than the first three opponents combined did against Glenwood City, the Elk Mound football team lost to the undefeated reigning D7 state champion Hilltoppers 62-26 on Glenwood’s new home field Sept. 13.

 The Mounders were down 15-0 on a 30 yard run by Isaac Tuttle, a two point run by Nate Mrdutt, another run for 60 yards by Tuttle and a Nick Mrdutt kick with 3:36 left in the first quarter. Elk Mound came back with some points of their own when on a first down play, Austin Hanson took a handoff and broke several tackles on his way to a 58 yard score, and a Ryan Mueller kick made it 15-7. But Tuttle was nothing but trouble all night as he returned the following kickoff back 99 yards and another kick brought the Topper lead back to 13 at 22-7. The Mounders responded again, starting with the ball on their own 35, and after converting a fourth and two on an eight yard run by Hanson, they scored on the tenth play of the drive when quarterback Travis Nelson found freshman Dane Lew for a 20 yard touchdown pass. The kick was missed but it looked like there might be a shootout in the making as the quarter ended with the Mounders down 22-13.

But two different Toppers ran the ball in for scores to start the second stanza, increasing their lead to 34-13. On the Mounders next possession, Nelson found Lew again for a 34 yard gain on third down, and on a fourth and goal from the 14, the Nelson-Lew connection worked again, this time for a touchdown to bring the score to 34-19 with 1:21 left in the half. Tuttle continued to tear up the field and added to his point total with a 31 yard run and a two point run for a 42-19 Topper halftime lead.

Glenwood City added a pair of third quarter scores on runs by Tuttle and Jeff Kopacz and the Mounders came up with their final points as they scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 24 yard pass from Nelson to Adam Gottschalk. Mueller’s kick made it 56-26 and Tuttle ended his night just like he started with another TD run, this time from 69 yards out.

“I was very proud of our players,” Elk Mound coach Dave Lew said. “They played to the final whistle and never gave up. We continue to get better every week and gain more experience. Our seniors were great leaders and our younger players stepped up.”

Hanson led the Mounders in rushing with 74 hard fought yards on nine attempts, Jon Storing added 24 yards on seven attempts and Noah Zurbuchen collected 23 yards on 13 runs. Nelson passed for 164 yards, completing eight of 21 passes with Adam Gottschalk snaring four of them for 92 yards and Dane Lew grabbing three for 68 yards and two TDs.

The Mounders finished with 272 total yards while the Hilltoppers came up with 479, including 447 on the ground. Tuttle had 236 of those yards on 12 carries.

Elk Mound plays a non-conference game at home against Westby this Friday night.