BOYCEVILLE – In the local battle between the Glenwood City and Boyceville football teams, the Hilltoppers prevailed through the mist and the mud with a 30-12 final.
The Bulldogs started the game off with a non-traditional move of an onside kick. This caught the Hilltoppers off guard, which resulted in Jake McIntyre landing on the ball and setting up the Bulldogs on the 36 yard line.
Despite their efforts to make a play from the opening kick, the Bulldogs were unsuccessful on their first possession, which resulted in the Hilltoppers taking over on downs at their own 34 yard line.
The Toppers were moving the ball into the Bulldog’s territory, but a fumble recovered by Brett Boda would change the possession and put Boyceville on the 50 yard line.
The Bulldogs would be on the 21 yard line with a third down and nine yards to go for the first down, but the Hilltopper’s defense pushed them back to fourth and 14.
The pass by Hunter Anderson for the first down attempt would fall short, putting the Hilltoppers on their own 25 yard line on downs.
The Toppers possession would end in a punt by Richard Ross, which put the Bulldogs on the 49 yard line. They would be shut down in three plays, which forced them to punt as well.
Nick Mrdutt would receive the punt and start the Hilltopper’s lengthy drive on the 14 yard line. Isaac Tuttle would carry the ball for the first down. Mrdutt would be sacked by Sam Hellmann, but a run by Jeff Kopacz would push them forward for a first down.
The clock would wind down, ending the first quarter with the Toppers on the 44 yard line. A run by Tuttle and Kopacz would put the ball on Boyceville’s 44 yard line.
The first of several penalties would be called with the first one going against Boyceville on an offsides call, which gave the Hilltoppers the first down on the 33.
The Bulldogs would hold the Hilltoppers to fourth down and five. A pass from Mrdutt to Tuttle was caught, but not enough yards were gained so the Bulldogs took over on downs on their own 27.
The Bulldogs were unsuccessful on their possession after another penalty on third down forced them to punt from their own 27 yard line.
The Topper’s possession would end in a similar fashion with a fourth down and one yard to go, their run attempt was no good and again the Bulldogs took over on downs at their own 30 yard line with two minutes remaining in the half.
The Bulldogs’ offense came up empty on yards and were forced to punt, which set the Hilltoppers up for their first score of the game.
With the ball on the 47 yard line, Mrdutt’s first play of the drive was an unsuccessful pass. He would then hand it off to Tuttle who pushed back the blockers and sprinted down the field for a 63 yard touchdown run with 51 seconds left on the clock.
Tuttle would again carry the ball into the endzone for the two-point conversion for a first half score of 8-0.
Logan McAbee-Thomas would receive the kick to start the second half of the game, but a penalty on the Bulldogs would result in them starting their drive on the 21. The possession would end in a punt by the Bulldogs.
Three flags would be thrown and both teams would punt one more time in the first six minutes of the third quarter before any real movement happened.
It was during the Hilltoppers second possession of the quarter that they scored their second touchdown of the game.
They started their drive on the 50 yard line. Two plays with runs by Kopacz would put the Hilltoppers on the 36 yard line.
With his eyes on the endzone, Tuttle carried the ball in for his second score of the game. Kopacz pushed the ball in for the two-point conversion for a 16-0 lead with 5:11 on the clock.
The Bulldogs would retaliate in a possession that shaved nearly three minutes off the clock after they started on their own 22.
Anderson would gain two yards on a quarterback keeper, but two passes would fall incomplete, and it looked as if they would be forced to punt again. However, they were saved on a personal foul called against the Hilltoppers, which was good for a first down.
A three yard gain and then a pass to Brady Schutts was good for yet another first down on their own 48. However a loss of yards and then a flag against the Bulldogs would push them back to their own 27.
With the end zone looking like a long ways away, McAbee-Thomas pushed his way past the line and headed down the field for a 73 yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs on the board with 2:22 on the clock. The two-point conversion was no good so the score read 16-6.
The Hilltoppers would quickly answer back with a 61 yard touchdown run down the right side of the field by Tuttle. The two-point conversion was successful after Mrdutt tossed the ball up to Ross to put the boys in blue and white ahead 24-6.
The fourth quarter would begin with the Toppers in possession of the ball again after the Bulldogs were forced to punt on their previous drive.
Kopacz would carry the ball to the Bulldog’s 26 yard line for a first down. Mrdutt would hold onto the ball for a nine yard gain and a carry for a yard by Tuttle would set the ball on the ten yard line.
With the end zone ten yards away, Mrdutt went to the air for a pass to Kopacz for the Hilltopper’s final touchdown of the game. The two-point conversion was no good so the scoreboard reflected a 30-6 score with 9:38 remaining in the game.
The Bulldogs would set up for their final touchdown after they recovered a fumble on a punt return, which put them on the Hilltoppers’ 28 yard line.
A flag on the Hilltoppers would push them further towards the goal as the ball rested on the 14. A four yard gain by McAbee-Thomas would put them within ten yards.
The final touchdown of the game would be made after Schutts, who was in the quarterback position for Anderson now, tossed the ball up to Buddy Hanestad for the score.
The final two minutes of the game would bring a fumble by the Hilltoppers, which was recovered by Alex Lovett.
The Bulldogs’ final drive would end in a turn over on downs and with 1:02 on the clock, the Hilltoppers would make it to third down and four yards to go before they let the clock run down to zero.
As a team, the Hilltoppers had a total of 348 yards of offense. Mrdutt threw for 19 yards on three completions out of six attempts. Kopacz had one reception for ten yards, Tuttle had one reception for six yards and Ross had one for three yards.
On rushing, it was Tuttle that blew up the field with 227 yards on 21 attempts. Kopacz followed with 84 yards, Mrdutt carried the ball for seven yards, Jake O’Meara had four yards, Nick Schone had three yards and Billy Norenberg and Blayze Wood each had two yards for a combined total of 329 yards.
On the other side, the Bulldogs had a total of 149 offensive yards with 16 yards receiving and 133 rushing.
Schutts had one reception from Anderson for six yards and Hanestad had the ten yard reception from Schutts for the touchdown.
McAbee-Thomas had the team high in rushing yards with 78 on 12 attempts. Jordan Morse followed with 35 yards, Tyler Draeger had 12 and Anderson had eight.
On the schedule, the Bulldogs are set to play in Elk Mound this Friday night and the Hilltoppers will be at home against St. Croix Central with both games starting at 7:00 p.m. Both teams have one more game on their schedule before the playoff season begins.