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Hilltoppers crush St. Paul Academy in 52-6 victory

By Kelsie Hoitomt

ST. PAUL, MN – The Toppers came home with yet another victory over the St. Paul Academy Spartans on Saturday, September 6 with a final score of 52-6.

The opening of the game saw a sluggish Topper football team until a timeout was called and some adjustments were made, which turned up the momentum.

Once they were in gear, the Toppers were unstoppable. Nathan Mrdutt grabbed a hold of the ball with three minutes on the clock in the first quarter and ran it in for the first touchdown of the game.

Bill Norenberg took the hand off on the two-point conversion play and ran into the end zone to put the Toppers on the board 8-0.

The clock ticked down to zero to bring up the second quarter. Both teams would go back and forth for nearly four minutes before another score happened.

At 8:43, Nick Schone connected with Jake Hierlmeier for a touchdown pass. They again found each other for the two-point conversion to put their lead at 16-0.

Schone relied on his arm again, this time finding Todd Petersen for a touchdown pass at 6:19. Mrdutt grabbed the ball and powered through for the two-point conversion, which put the score at 24-0 going into the half.

Three minutes and 28 seconds into the third quarter, the Toppers were into the end zone again after a pass was thrown by Schone to Hierlmeier. They followed the same pattern for the extra two points.

Mitch Hurtgen wrapped his hands around the ball for the Topper’s fifth touchdown at 7:22 in the third and Mrdutt took care of the conversion for a 32-0 score.

Seven minutes of play went by with no scoring, which brought up the final quarter of the contest. With the Toppers up by 30 points, the clock ran continuously now.

The dagger was officially driven into the Spartans when Jake Nelson caught a pass by Jesper Salverda for an interception and a touchdown run with 8:28 still left to play in the fourth.

Schone took a seat on the bench and Jake Logghe stepped in as quarterback as the time ticked down.

Logghe hit Ethan Kahler for a touchdown pass at 4:05 for the Topper’s final score of the game.

With 2:36 left in the game, the Spartans finally crossed the end zone line for their first score of the game by Ben Pettee, which concluded the game at 52-6.

The 52 points scored by the Toppers accounted for 455 total yards of offense with Schone throwing 244 yards in 18 completions out of 27 attempts. He threw four touchdown passes and had one interception.

Logghe also took some snaps and he completed two passes with one scoring the touchdown to Kahler.

On the receiving end of the ball, Mrdutt led the team with 52 yards on two receptions. Hierlmeier followed with 49 yards on seven receptions.

Petersen had 47 yards on three catches and Hurtgen had 46 yards on four. Then it was Norenberg with 27 yards on two, Nelson had 13 yards on two and Kahler had ten yards on one catch.

Along with his two receptions, Nelson also ran the ball eight times for a gain of 79 yards. Mrdutt followed with 68 rushing yards on ten attempts.

Norenberg finished with 41 rushing yards on seven carries. Jake Kopacz had 16 yards on seven and Darian Multhauf had seven yards on two.

As for the Spartans, they had just 12 rushing yards with Pettee going for a loss of four yards on six attempts and Salverda had a loss of 21 yards on six attempts as well.

Their receiving game ended better with a total of 182 yards for Salverda in 14 completions. Pettee also took a few snaps and had four yards on one completion.

The Toppers will play their first conference game of the season this Friday (Sept. 12) with a road game in Elk Mound starting at 7:00 p.m.