Prep football: Kingsford hogs ball for 56-7 victory at Westwood
ISHPEMING – The Kingsford Flivvers looked like they had a hunger only a big pigskin meal could satisfy on Saturday afternoon.
And satisfy it they did, running numerous big plays on both offense and defense to post a 56-7 victory at the Patriots field.
Kingsford improved to a perfect 3-0 not only by ripping off four scoring plays of at least 25 yards from scrimmage, but adding a pair of defensive touchdowns.
“We had some big plays go against us a week ago,” KHS coach Chris Hofer said about a 34-32 squeaker over Cedar Grove-Belgium, Wis. “I was happy with the effort we had today.”
The only player to score more than once was Flivvers senior Cole Tengesdahl, who returned a fumble 35 yards for a TD on the Patriots’ first offensive play, then added a 46-yard scoring reception from his quarterback, junior Joe Hofer, late in the second quarter.
“Once I saw the ball on the ground I was on it as fast as I could,” Tengesdahl said about the fumble return.
Even the 0-3 Patriots got in on the big-play act when junior Ryan Anttila took the opening kickoff of the second half all the way back to the Flivvers 6-yard line.
Senior Tyler Harvala gained five yards on first down and sophomore teammate Brandon Benda finished off the final yard into the end zone on a play off right tackle to avert their team’s shutout.
“We had some good blocking on that (kickoff) return,” said WHS first-year coach John Jessen, who played for Hofer in high school at Kingsford. “Ryan was able to find a seam and ran hard up the sideline. That was a good confidence builder for us.
“Kingsford plays a disciplined game of football. They do all the little things absolutely perfectly. As far as the turnovers go, Kingsford’s the type of team that comes out and always hits hard.
“A young team like ours tends to make the small mistakes that will get you in trouble against a team like this. But I’ll still say that each week, we’re getting a little bit better.”
Westwood dug itself a hole early on that it couldn’t get out of. The Flivvers needed less than two minutes to cash in their first possession when junior Brody Sundquist scored on an end-around for a 40-yard TD. Hofer, who kicked the extra point on his team’s first five TDs, made it 7-0.
Following the ensuing kickoff, Jessen called a simple handoff to a running back on the first play. But the exchange from quarterback Tanner Giroux was muffed and Tengesdahl scooped it up and made a beeline 35 yards into the end zone with 9:56 to go. Hofer’s PAT made it 14-0.
Later in the half, Kingsford added rushing TDs of 25 yards from junior Tyler Roberts and 7 yards from senior Jake Allen along with Tengesdahl’s scoring reception to make it 35-0.
The Patriots made a bid to avert a second-half running clock by trying to score just before halftime. Jessen called timeout with four seconds left from around his team’s 40-yard line.
But the plan went awry when Giroux’s pass was snatched out of midair by a leaping Jack Glodowski, a 6-foot-4 Kingsford senior. He secured the ball and returned it up the sideline for another TD and it was 42-0 at the break.
Junior Jaxson Ferree, who got Kingsford’s only third-quarter score on a 47-yard scamper, led all rushers with 147 yards in just three carries. Benda paced Westwood with 53 yards rushing in 11 tries.
The Flivvers held a 464-131 yards advantage in addition to forcing the two scoring turnovers and several others.