By Cara L. Dempski
MONDOVI — Glenwood City head football coach Shane Strong said in his 2016 football preview that Mondovi would be one of the top teams in the Dunn-St. Croix this year.
He cited the larger pool of players the Buffaloes have to pull from, since Mondovi is a bigger school district. Strong said the Buffaloes size up front gave them an advantage.
In the Hilltoppers’ 46-12 victory over Mondovi on September 16, none of that seemed to matter. Glenwood City remains undefeated, while Mondovi fell to 0-5.
“The key to this game was our ability to create deception on offense,” Strong said. “We were able to use our misdirection attack along with great trapping technique by our offensive line to move the ball.”
Strong said the team was down a couple running backs, forcing him to use Carson Strong and Ethan Kahler to play running back. The Hilltoppers doubled up on tight ends to provide more depth for the backs and create some offensive opportunities not usually available to them.
Jake Kopacz led the team for rushing with 229 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Strong said Kopacz had one of the best games he has witnessed in 19 years as a coach.
“He was so explosive when he carried the ball,” Strong stated.
The switch-up in offense included playing Pete Hill at quarterback and switching Jake Logghe to wide receiver. Hill threw for two completions and one touchdown, while Logghe picked up 24 yards on two pass completions.
“Both Pete and Jake played very well Friday night,” noted Strong.
The Hilltoppers posted their first six points after Pete Hill struck gold on a one-yard keep. He was not able to pick up the conversion on his quarterback sneak, and the first quarter ran down with Glenwood City leading 6-0.
Play became fast and furious in the second quarter, with the Toppers scoring four times and Buffs picking up a touchdown. Jake O’Meara ran it in from eight yards out and Kopacz picked up the extra two to make the score 14-0.
A few minutes later, Carson Strong hit paydirt again on a nine-yard run. The conversion pass failed, and the score became 20-0.
Mondovi picked up the first of their two touchdowns on a three-yard run. After missing the kick for the extra point, the score became 20-6.
Kopacz carried the ball 41 yards to paydirt and had the last word in the half, making the score 26-7 after the conversion failed. Kopacz run was a thing of beauty. The junior running back tok the handoff and dashed right only to be cut off by a host of Mondovi defenders. Making a 180 degree about face, Kopacz headed left, before picking up some blockers and turned upfield, backing a some Mondovi tackles on his way to the end zone.
The Buffaloes were the first to score in the second half, picking up another six on a 36-yard run from Shane Vanroo. The conversion attempt failed, making the score 26-12.
Ethan Kahler ran the ball six yards to score for the Hilltoppers before the end of the second quarter, and the two-point pass was good for the score to become 34-12.
Glenwood’s Hill would hit Logghe on an eight-yard touchdown pass to tack on another six, and Hill took a knee on the conversion, making the final score of the game 46-12.
Strong credited his defense in holding Mondovi’s large front line in check, all without the services of starting outside linebackers Darian Multhauf and Jake Nelson, who both suffered non-contact knee injuries and may be lost for the season.
“Mondovi likes to run power football, so we needed to use our quickness to stop their run,” Strong said.
Coach Strong explained the Hilltoppers were able to force three turn-overs while never turning over the ball offensively. All three of the turn-overs led to Glenwood City touchdowns.
“Marcus Ullom had a great game, with 12 tackles and an interception,” Strong said.
The Hilltoppers will play their homecoming game on September 23 against their nearest conference rivals, the Boyceville Bulldogs. The latest Wissports.net Football Coaches’ Poll has the Hilltoppers ranked eighth in Division 6.
GLENWOOD CITY 46, MONDOVI 12
Glenwood City…………6 26 8 6 — 46
Mondovi…………………0 6 6 0 — 12
GC — P. Hill 1 run (conversion fail).
GC — J. O’Meara 8 run (J. Kopacz run); GC — C. Strong 9 run (conversion fail); M — 3 run (kick good); GC — P. Hill 1 run (conversion fail); GC — J. Kopacz 41 run (conversion fail).
M — S. Vanroo 36 run (kick fail).
GC — E. Kahler 6 run (Hill pass).
GC — P. Hill 8 pass to Logghe (kneel).
Passing (att-comp-int-yds) — GC (4-2-0-24) — P. Hill 4-2-0-24.
Receiving (rec-yds) — GC (2-24) — J. Logghe 2-24.
Rushing (att-yds) — GC (59-384) — J. Kopacz 18-229, J. O’Meara 24-88, C. Strong 5-28, E. Kahler 6-27, P. Hill 3-6, E. Hanson 2-3, D. Immerman 1-3.