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Toppers batter Bulldogs again with fast start on football field

GC SENIOR TANNER DAVIS

TD CATCH — Senior Tanner Davis (#29) hauled in the first of his three touchdown receptions on this first-quarter pass from Toppers’ quarterback Hadin DeSmith. Davis broke the tackle attempt of Boyceville senir Bailey Danovsky to finish the 39-yard play in the end zone. Davis also had scoring catches of 47 and 40 yards in Glenwood City’s 44-6 win. —photo by Shawn DeWitt

GLENWOOD CITY — Fans of the Glenwood City and Boyceville football teams had to have left last Friday night’s contest in Glenwood City feeling like they had experienced it before.

That feeling of deja vu was understandable as the annual gridiron rivalry game between the Bulldogs and Hilltoppers was for the third straight year a one-side affair.

Glenwood City scored a touchdown on its first offensive play of the August 31 contest and all six of its first-half possessions to take a commanding 38-0 halftime lead en route to a 44-6 shellacking of Boyceville in the D-SC conference opener for both squads.

This was the Hilltoppers’ third straight lopsided win over their arch rival from Boyceville and their fourth consecutive victory overall. Glenwood won last year’s contest 67-0 and the 2016 match up 40-8. The Bulldogs last victory in the longstanding rivalry came in the 2014 season with a 20-0 shut out.

“We were able to get off to a good start right away which gave our kids confidence,” said Shane Strong, Glenwood City head coach.

Davis, who starred offensively for the Blue and White, also earned kudos from his coach for his work on the other side of the line.

“I thought Tanner Davis had a good game defensively along with our linebacker core,” commented Strong. “We were able to control the line of scrimmage when our starters were playing which created good pressure in their passing game.”

“We have a great deal of work to do yet. We are not picking up the blitz well enough and we are missing blocks. We definitely need to improve our tackling in space but I’m confident the kids will work,” concluded the GC coach.

While the Toppers’ offense was busy amassing 367 first-half yards, the defense clapped down on Boyceville’s offensive unit allowing the Bulldogs just 26 yards in the first 24 minutes of action.

“We came into the game having (had) our best week of practice of the season both mentally and physically,” noted Boyceville head coach Jordan Anderson following the loss.

“We saw things in film to exploit them but when it came game time from the first play on Glenwood City executed early and often and we never got into a flow of the game on either side of the ball,” continued Anderson.

“Defensively, we played so well the first two weeks of the season and Friday we took steps back.  We have to fix the small things as we take on a very good team in Elk Mound next Friday.”

Glenwood City improved to 1-0 in conference play and 2-1 overall with Boyceville falling to 0-1 and 0-3.

It took the Hilltoppers all of ten seconds to invade the Bulldogs’ end zone. Senior Caleb Peterson took the game’s opening hand off from quarterback Hadin DeSmith and broke straight through the Bulldogs defensive line and backfield and went untouched for a 58-yard score at 11:50 of the first.

Glenwood City’s offense had plenty more scores yet to come.

Following a three-and-out by Boyceville, Glenwood took control near midfield at its own 48. Seven-yard runs by Peterson and Dan Loring gained the Toppers a first down at the Bulldogs’ 39 where DeSmith aired it out to senior wide out Tanner Davis who leaped high to pluck the ball out of the air and then broke a tackle  to race the distance for the score at 9:20. It would become a theme with Davis and DeSmith.

As with the first GC TD, Tucker Lagerstrom booted the extra point to make it 14-0.

TRYING TO GET OUTSIDE was Boyceville running back Ty Gundlach during the Bulldogs football game in Glenwood City August 31. Gundlach scored Boyceville’s first points of the season on a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and tallied 78 yards rushing. —photo by Shawn DeWitt

Boyceville again punted only to see Glenwood City go on the march from its own 46. Three plays into the drive, DeSmith connected with Dan Loring for a 32-yard pass reception. That set up Dakota Dean-Immerman for a 13-yard touchdown run three plays later. Despite the missed PAT, the Toppers were in front 20-0 with 4:20 still to play in the first quarter.

The Toppers still had a score left in them before the game’s first 12 minutes expired.

Taking over at its 40 with 1:40 remaining in the first. Glenwood City needed just two plays as DeSmith again found Davis with a long pass. Davis did the rest, breaking another tackle to finish off the 47-yard play in the end zone for his second score of the night and gave the Toppers’ a 26-0 push after the kick failed.

The Hilltoppers concluded their first-half scoring by putting together their longest drive of the contest in the second quarter of play.

GC marched 73 yards in ten plays capped by a third DeSmith-to-Davis aerial for 40 yards. Although DeSmith was stopped short by the Bulldogs on the conversion run, the Toppers led 32-0.

Then a 58-yard drive that consumed nearly all of the remaining five minutes of first-half play ended with a 5-yard TD run by Brandyn Hallquist on the 12th play. DeSmith was again stopped short on the conversion leaving the score at 38-0 entering the half.

Hadin DeSmith put a cap on the Toppers’ scoring with an interception of Trevor Hollister which he returned 62 yards for the score with 52 second left on the third quarter clock.

With the Hilltoppers substituting in the final frame, Boyceville put together their season’s first scoring drive. A 12-play, 60-yard effort that ended with Ty Gundlach jumping over the goal on a five-yard run with 5:54 to play to make it 44-6.

Glenwood City finished with 393 total yards with 158 yards passing by DeSmith for three scores to Davis, who had 126 total yards in receiving. Peterson’s 103 yards lead a field of nine Toppers rushing that totaled 235 yards.

Boyceville had 53 yards passing, all by Trevor Hollister and 86 yards rushing, led by Ty Gundlach’s 78, for a total output of 139 yards.

Glenwood City will travel to Durand this Friday to take on the Panthers while Boyceville will return to Evenson Field to host Elk Mound. Both game times are scheduled for 7 p.m.

Glenwood City……26       12           6        0 – 44

Boyceville…………….0        0           0         6 – 6 

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