FLINTON - For the 11 seniors on Glendale's football team, finishing their high school careers with a win was a big deal. On Friday night against Ferndale, the Vikings made that goal happen in a big way, defeating the Yellow Jackets, 44-0.
"It's great because you never want to end with a loss. This season didn't go like we had hoped, but for one night we kind of made up for it at least a little bit," Glendale coach Matt Irvine said.
The Glendale offense was clicking in all phases in this contest as Matt Kimberly and Kyle Stewart formed a tough tandem on the ground, while Tyler Potutschnig and Jonathan Rojas were connecting through the air.
The Vikings got rolling early as they took the opening possession 64 yards in just seven plays to get on the board first. The drive ended with a 12-yard connection between Potutschnig and Rojas. It was the first of two touchdown connections on the night for the pair and the first of three touchdown passes overall for Potutschnig.
"I knew he had it in him to throw the ball like this. He is probably more known for his running ability, but tonight he was great through the air," Irvine said.
Potutsching's other scoring strikes included a 22-yard connection with Rojas and a 45-yard completion to Tanner Martz. He also added a score on the ground with a 10-yard touchdown scamper.
The senior running back tandem of Stewart and Kimberly was not to be outdone however, as the pair combined for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Stewart was the workhorse as the big back totaled 114 yards.
"They were really up for this game tonight and really wanted it. Matt [Kimberly] has missed a few weeks, so it was great to have him back and he was really amped up. The two really complement each other well. Kyle [Stewart] ran hard all night and the offensive line blocked well," Irvine said.
Ferndale was never able to get on track offensively and rarely threatened the Viking defense, totaling only 58 yards. The loss capped off a winless season for the Yellow Jackets, who faced a lot of adversity throughout the year. The team dressed only 14 players for its final game, an issue it faced all season.
Its coach was proud of the losing effort.
"I've never been more proud of a group of kids. What a tough group. These kids have been through so much adversity this season, never knowing if we would have enough to play, and yet here we are in the final game and every kid in that locker room wanted to play this game. They could've quit, but they wanted to stick with it and compete," Ferndale coach Chip Ryan said.
For Glendale (2-8), it hopes a win in the final game can be a springboard for next season.
"Absolutely I think this will help us this offseason. A lot of underclassmen were injured this year, and we'll get them back. A lot of others got significant playing time this year which will help. I encourage the kids to play other sports and focus on them and when it's time we'll get back after it and build off this win," said Irvine.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Ferndale0 0 0 0 - 0
Glendale6 26 6 6 - 44
G - Rojas 12 pass from Potutschnig (kick failed), 9:27
G - Stewart 1 run (Cross kick), 11:40
G - Martz 45 pass from Potutschnig (kick failed), 8:41
G - Rojas 22 pass from Potutschnig (kick failed), 6:16
G - Potutschnig 10 run (Cross kick), 1:57
G - Kimberly 14 run (2-pt run failed), 9:43
G - Stewart 27 run (kick failed), 7:40
RUSHING: Ferndale - Sajatovich 11-41, Budash 7-24, T. Kinsey 3- (-17), Eisenhuth 2-2, Ream 2- (-3), R. Kinsey 1- (-3). Glendale - Stewart 14-114, Kimberly 13-57, Potutschnig 9-49, Rojas 2-4, Kuhn 1-2.
PASSING: Ferndale - T. Kinsey 2-9-2-7, Sajatovich 0-3-0-0, Ballow 1-1-0-7. Glendale - Potutschnig 4-11-0-93, Braniff 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Ferndale - R. Kinsey 1-7, Ream 1-5, Eisenhuth 1-2. Glendale - Rojas 3-48, Martz 1-45
INTERCEPTIONS: Glendale - Kimberly, Martz
TEAM STATISTICS FG
Fumbles-lost 4-3 1-0