Flivvs KO Gladstone
GLADSTONE – The Kingsford Flivvers punched their ticket to the state football playoffs Friday night, handing the Gladstone Braves a 55-20 loss.
Ten players carried the ball and seven ran for touchdowns for the Flivvers, who improved to 6-2 overall and 2-1 in the Great Northern Conference.
“We have a lot of quick kids,” said Kingsford coach Chris Hofer. “We also made a lot of big plays. This was a good, hard-hitting game.”
Kingsford closes its regular season by hosting Escanaba Friday.
For Gladstone this was its 15th straight loss, dating back to last season. The Braves (0-8 overall, 0-4 GNC) finish their season Friday at Calumet.
The Flivvers needed just a minute, 53 seconds to get on the board, with senior back Jake Allen going the final four yards though the left side.
Kingsford struck again midway through the opening stanza on a 30-yard dash through the middle by junior Tyler Roberts for a 14-0 cushion.
Gladstone, however, made things interesting on the ensuing drive. Junior Tyler Wells pulled the Braves within 14-8 on a 13-yard quarterback keeper to the left with 65 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Braves’ first scoring drive covered 69 yards in nine plays, with a 40-yard pass from Wells to senior Jared Hunter a key to that drive.
“Anytime an opposing team gets close, there’s always concern,” said Hofer. “It’s always important to respond.”
The Flivvers did just that as junior Brody Sundquist raced 37 yards around left end for a 22-8 cushion on the final play of the first quarter.
“We moved the ball quite well on our first couple drives,” said Braves’ coach Cody Kangas. “Had we been able to get a stop after that, who’s knows what might have happened. But a few things didn’t go our way and I think their touchdown right at the end of the first quarter took a little bit of wind out of our sails.”
Kingsford then added a pair of scores in the second frame with junior Paxson Ferree slipping through the middle on a six-yard run and a 28-8 advantage with 3:47 left, and junior Joe Hofer doing likewise on a 13-yard keeper for a 35-8 cushion with 40.4 seconds remaining.
Ferree added his second TD, dashing 42 yards to the left on a counter play early in the third quarter and senior Alex Patterson added a 28-yard TD run off left tackle for a 48-8 advantage with 5:02 remaining.
The Braves responded on their next possession as junior Justin Jurek scored on a seven-yard run around left end.
Kingsford then finished its scoring on senior Aaron Scheetz’ seven-yard run around right end early in the fourth stanza.
The Braves finished the scoring with 69 seconds remaining on a seven-yard run around right end by Wells.
Kingsford finished with 424 yards in total offense, including 343 on the ground. Sundquist carried nine times for 122, all in the first half. Joe Hofer was 8-of-9 passing for 81 yards, with all that also coming in the first half.
“Our offensive line did a nice job blocking,” said coach Hofer. “Field conditions (following Friday’s rainfall) were a concern. I thought our guys did a good job taking care of the ball for how slippery the field was.”
The Braves collected 283 yards in total offense, with Wells rushing 20 times for 101 and Jurek added 83 on 13 carries. Gladstone had 210 on the ground.
“Our kids aren’t quitters,” said Kangas. “They play hard all the time. Our backs ran hard and I think that’s going to be a staple for us down the road. It’s tough for these kids to lose their last home game, especially the seniors.”