Tough week ends with homecoming loss
Hortonville’s Flunker scores three touchdowns
By Scott Bellile
Hortonville’s student section quietly filed onto Akin Field where players exchanged hugs and tears on Friday, Oct. 2, all sharing disappointment following a stressful week and a 26-21 homecoming loss to Fond du Lac.
Many were in attendance to regain strength as a community following the death of 16-year-old junior Emily Nickel, who died in a car accident on School Road one week earlier. Hundreds of attendees wore T-shirts printed with Nickel’s smiling face. Supporters bought tickets by the handful for a 50/50 raffle that benefitted the Nickel family.
Despite Hortonville’s losses in a friend and in Friday’s football game, the home crowd found moments to cheer: the homecoming court procession, the dance team, the marching band and running back Max Flunker’s three touchdowns.
The first of Flunker’s touchdowns came about five minutes into the third quarter when the Polar Bears gained an 8-7 lead off a 4-yard TD run. That lead lasted about three minutes before the Cardinals scored a TD, followed by another before the end of the quarter.
With the Cardinals ahead 20-8, the Polar Bears closed in 20-15 about three minutes into the fourth quarter when Flunker captured a 3-yard TD pass from Braden Stoeger and the Polar Bears scored a two-point conversion.
Flunker reclaimed the lead, 21-20, with a 14-yard TD run halfway through the fourth quarter. But a 45-yard Fond du Lac pass turned into a 3-yard TD and sealed the win for the Cardinals.
Hortonville rushed for 132 yards and passed for 181 yards. Flunker rushed for 79 yards on 20 carries. Stoeger passed for 181 yards over 17 of 30 attempts. Kyle Witthuhn caught four passes totaling 66 yards.