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Hilltoppers dominate, blank Bulldogs 67-0 in gridiron battle

By Cara L. Dempski

BOYCEVILLE — When it rains, it pours.

The Bulldogs were deluged by a blue and white monsoon on a hot and humid evening at Evenson Field last Friday as the Hilltoppers rained down score after score on their hosts in the annual football game between the arch rivals.

All seemed to go the Toppers way from the opening kick off to the game’s final whistle.

Glenwood City pounded the Boyceville team into the turf with a 67-0 whitewash win in the September 22 contest to improve to 2-2 in the Dunn-St. Croix and 4-2 overall, while the Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 in D-SC action and 1-5 for the season.

The game was a study in contrasts well beyond the score. 

While the Bulldogs spent their energy moving the ball through the air – logging 97 passing yards to Glenwood’s zero – the Hilltoppers moved across the ground, however, with efficiency and ease to total 561 rushing while holding Boyceville’s rushing attack to a -12. That gave the Toppers a 561 to 85 advantage in total yardage.

Leading the Toppers potent ground attack was senior Jake Nelson who carried ten times for  267 yards and four touchdowns on jaunts of 38, 86, 72 and 14 yards. 

Glenwood City scored five touchdowns in the opening frame  including a pair of pick six interceptions and three more times in the second quarter to take a 54-0 halftime advantage.

The Glenwood City squad scored on its opening possession, though it took the Toppers the better part of six minutes to drive 65 yards down the field to the goal line. Quarterback Pete Hill handed the ball to Carson Strong, who ran it in from the seven yards out for the score. Jacob Kopacz carried in the conversion run to make it 8-0 with 6:57 to go in the first.

The Toppers would be back in business after forcing the Bulldogs into a three and out on Boyceville’s first offensive possession.

Glenwood City took over at its own 38 following the punt and needed just four plays to punch the ball back into the end zone on a 38-yard run by Jake Nelson. Dakota Dean-Immerman’s run for the conversion was stopped short of the goal leaving the score 14-0 with 4:20 left in the first.

As it would turn out the Toppers still had a lot of points left to put up in the first frame.

Just 18 seconds later, Glenwood City was back in the end zone. Boyceville quarterback Jayson Gonzales fell back to his 28-yard line and let loose with a pass, which was intercepted by Toppers’ senior Carson Strong, who returned it 43 yards for the score.

After a PAT kick from Tucker Lagerstrom, the Hilltoppers led the game 21-0 with 4:02 still on the first-quarter clock.

Gonzales looked to put together some forward momentum in the ensuing Boyceville possession, but was unable to convert on the third down, forcing Bryce Boda to kick the ball away.

Taking the ball on its own 14, Glenwood City’s quarterback Pete Hill handed the ball to Jacob Nelson on the first play from scrimmage, and Nelson carried it all the way in to give the Hilltoppers another six on the 86-yard run. Lagerstrom’s kick was again good, giving the Toppers a 28-0 lead with 1:35 left before the second.

Once again film study and good game planning by Glenwood City turned Jayson Gonzales quick passing release to its advantage.  The Boyceville quarterback had his first-down pass attempts intercepted by GC’s Hadin DeSmith, who sprinted 44 yards for the score just 23 second after the team’s last touchdown. Lagerstrom’s PAT was good, and the Hilltoppers held a very comfortable 35-0 lead with 1:12 left in the first quarter.

The two teams traded possessions, as the Bulldogs finally forced a change of possession when Hill’s fourth-down pass to Strong fell incomplete as the second quarter began. 

Boyceville took over GC 36 but could not move the ball once again. With a fourth down and only two yards to go, the Boyceville squad elected to go for a fresh set of downs, only to have Gonzales’ pass to Luke Knudtson fall incomplete.

The next play resulted in another Glenwood City touchdown, as Hill handed off to Nelson ran 72 yards to pay dirt, and Lagerstrom tacking up another kick to make the score 42-0 with 9:47 to go before the halftime break.

The Bulldogs, who earned their first two first downs, incurred a series of penalties on their next possession, leaving them with fourth down and 20 yards to go when Gonzales let loose with another pass, which fell out of reach of the intended receiver, Bryce Boda, and gave the ball back to the Toppers at its won 43 with 5:11 left in the half.

The visiting Hilltoppers punched through the goal line in just five plays with Dakota Dean-Immerman scoring on a three-yard run at 2:26. Dan Loring  added an 8-yard scoring run at 1:03 to make it 54-0 at the break after neither of which saw successful PATs.

One of Boyceville’s adjustments during the half appears to be swapping Bryce Boda for Jayson Gonzales to drive the offense. The senior gunslinger nabbed a nine-yard gain on a keep, but then threw an interception right into the hands of Hilltopper senior Owen Wagner.

DeSmith took over as the GC quarterback, moving the ball 15 yards on a pass to Dan Loring before only getting to third and six before kneeling twice to give the ball back to Boyceville.

The Bulldogs played a three-and-out series again, losing yardage on two consecutive plays to make it fourth and 33 yards to go when Boda punted the ball away with 10:36 still to play in the third.

The Hilltoppers started their march down the field, which culminated in a 14-yard touchdown run from Nelson and another PAT from Lagerstrom, changing the scoreboard to 61-0 with 7:42 still to play in the third.

The Boyceville boys’ faltered again on their next possession, giving the ball back to Glenwood City, who punctured the goal line a final time with 6:22 left to play to make the board read 67-0 on Dan Loring’s second score, a 1-yard dive.

Complimenting Nelson was Loring who tallied 134 yards with two scores, Jake Kopacz finished with 89 yards.

Boyceville’s yards came via the air with Gonzales throwing for 53 yards and three picks while Bryce Boda had 38 yards.

The heartbreaker for the Bulldogs’ came on the heels of a September 15 loss at Spring Valley, and leads into their road trip to 3-0 Elk Mound September 29. They will take on the Colfax Vikings for their October 6 homecoming game before capping the season with a road trip to Mondovi October 13.

The Hilltoppers took the win after suffering a 17-6 defeat at the hands of Mondovi the week before during their homecoming game. The Glenwood City team will be at home September 29 to face Durand. They will travel to Spring Valley October 6, before finishing out the season at home in a non-conference contest against Spencer.

Glenwood City………….35  19   7   6 — 67
Boyceville………………….0    0   0   0 —  0

First quarter
GC — Carson Strong 7-yd. run (J. Kopacz run), 6:57; GC — J. Nelson 38-yd. run (conversion fails), 4:20; GC — C. Strong 43-yd. interception return (T. Lagerstrom kick), 4:02; GC — J. Nelson 86-yd. run (T. Lagerstrom kick), 1:35; GC — H. DeSmith 44-yd. interception return (T. Lagerstrom kick), 1:12.

Second quarter
GC — J. Nelson 72-yd. run (T. Lagerstrom kick), 9:47; GC — D. Dean-Immerman 3-yd. run (kick fail), 2:26; GC — D. Loring 8-yd. run (conversion fails), 1:03.

Third quarter
GC — J. Nelson 14-yd. run (T. Lagerstrom kick), 7:42.

Fourth quarter
GC — D. Loring 1-yd. run (kick fail), 6:22.

Individual Statistics

Passing (comp-att-yds-int): GC (0-2-0-0) — Pete Hill 0-2-0-0; BV (15-34-97-4) — B. Boda 4-9-38-1, J. Gonzales 9-21-53-3, C. Sempf 2-4-6-0.

Rushing (att-yds): GC (54-561) — C. Strong 2-14, E. Kahler 4-16, E. Hanson 5-12, D. Dean-Immerman 6-32, A. Grant 4-(-2), J. Nelson 10-267 D. Loring 10-134, J. Kopacz 13-89; B (7-(-12)) — B. Boda 3-5, J. Gonzales 3-(-17), T. Gundlach 1-0.

Receiving (rec-att-yds): GC (0-2-0): C. Strong 0-1-0, O. Wagner 0-1-0; B (15-30-97) — B. Boda 5-8-22, B. Sempf 1-6-4, T. Gundlach 1-2-1, L. Knudtson 2-5-12, C. Boesl 6-6-58.