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by Joel DeWitt
BOYCEVILLE — The 2023 edition of the Glenwood City-Boyceville rivalry pitted two contrasting teams. The Hilltoppers feature a quick-hit aerial attack, while the Bulldogs prefer a physical ground game. The contest on September 22 didn’t follow that script.
The Bulldogs outgained the Hilltoppers through the air by 107 yards and used three, long touchdown passes to ignite their offense. The Boyceville defense held the Glenwood City offense to only 85 yards and forced three turnovers en route to the 28-0 victory.
“We were able to put Boyceville into several third and fourth down situations in the game,” lamented Glenwood City coach Shane Strong. “We did not defend well in the secondary to get our defense off the field in those situations. If we make those plays, it is a one-score game.”
All four Boyceville scores came from 20-plus yards and included three on either third or fourth down.
Both offenses started the evening a little slow. The Bulldogs fumbled the ball in the Hilltopper’s red zone on their opening drive. Meanwhile Glenwood City’s first two possession resulted in a punt and an interception.
It was the Bulldogs that took advantage of the turnover. Starting on the Hilltopper 41 yard line it took Boyceville only three plays to find the end zone.
Carson Roemhild connected with Caden Wold for 35 yards on third-and-four for the touchdown. Zach Hellendrung carried the ball across the goal line for the 2-point conversion and the 8-0 lead with 3:45 remaining in the first quarter.
A three-and-out on the next Hilltopper possession returned the ball to the Bulldogs on Glenwood’s side of the field. Seven plays later the Bulldogs capitalized on the favorable position.
Facing a fourth-and-18 on the 22-yard line, Roemhild found Wold open for the touchdown. A failed 2-point attempt left the Bulldogs up 14-0 near the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter featured both team’s defenses. The Hilltoppers held the Bulldogs to 11 yards and forced a punt and turnover on downs.
Conversely, the Hilltopper offense didn’t fare much better. On back-to-back possessions late in the half, Roemhild picked off passes from Hilltopper quarterback Andrew Blaser to halt drives to secure the 14-0 lead going into halftime.
While the Hilltoppers stymied the Bulldogs in the second, Boyceville found its footing again to start the third quarter. The first play of the half saw Nick Olson take the handoff and go 59 yards for the score. Carson Roemhild found Braden Roemhild for the 2-point conversion and the 22-0 lead.
The Bulldogs took over on offense at their own 49-yard line after a Hilltopper punt. A 12-yard gain by Hellendrung on first down pushed the Bulldogs into Topper territory.
Four plays later, with Boyceville facing a fourth-and-eight, coach Michael Roemhild gambled on his offense. That gamble paid off as Wold hauled in his third touchdown reception of the evening, this one from 49 yards out.
“I thought Carson had another great game, this time it was Caden Wold’s turn to shine,” commented coach Roemhild. “Carson and Caden connected on three touchdown passes that really gave us momentum each time.”
The touchdown put Boyceville up 28-0 midway through the third quarter.
The Hilltopper offense attempted to get things going late in the third quarter. Starting on their own 44-yard line the Hilltoppers put their own drive together.
A 24-yard completion by Blaser to Morgen Eggert on third down set Glenwood City up in Bulldog territory with a fresh set of downs. A 15-yard run by Mitch McGee on fourth and long gave Glenwood life on the 25 yard line.
Unfortunately for the Toppers, their drive went no further as the Bulldogs shut them down on the next four plays.
Glenwood City had one more chance on offense but were unable to move the ball past midfield and Boyceville held on for the hard-fought win.
“Any time you can come out on the winning side of a Boyceville-Glenwood City rivalry football game, (it) makes the next week of practice a little more enjoyable,” indicated coach Roemhild.
Carson Roemhild was 8-17 for 136 passing yards with three touchdown passes to Wold. Wold led the way receiving with 106 yards on three catches. Braden Roemhild also had three catches on the night.
Five Bulldogs logged carries on the evening totaling 169 yards. Olson was the top dog with 94 yards on seven carries. Braden Roemhild added 58 yards.
The win for the Bulldogs (6-0, 4-0) was their fifth consecutive over Glenwood City dating back to 2109 and keeps them tied with Spring Valley atop the D-SC conference.
For the Hilltopper, yardage was tough to come by on the night.
“We didn’t protect our quarterback very well all night,” indicated Strong. He added, “That is my responsibility, so it starts with me as the coach.”
Blaser was the Toppers leading passer on the night going 7-16 for 43 yards. Eggert was his primary target catching three passes for 37 yards.
McGee had 41 yards on 15 attempts for the Hilltoppers to lead the ground game.
The loss for the Hilltoppers (3-3, 1-3) drop them into a tie with Clear Lake for sixth place in conference action. Glenwood City will most likely need to win their three remaining games to guarantee a playoff spot in the WIAA postseason tournament.
Both teams return to action September 29. Glenwood City hosts Colfax, while Boyceville travels to Clear Lake to take on the Warriors. Both games kickoff at 7:00 p.m.