Hortonville football earns homecoming win
Polar Bear creates 4 turnovers
By Erik Buchinger
Hortonville safety Jackson Weister created four turnovers in the Polar Bears’ 42-14 homecoming win over Appleton East on Friday, Oct. 5.
Weister finished with two fumble recoveries and two interceptions including an 11-yard interception return on Appleton East’s first play from scrimmage.
“I just caught it, didn’t even know where I was but I ran into the end zone and scored,” Weister said.
Hortonville head coach Tom Kolosso said he has never seen a player have four turnovers in one game.
“I’ve seen guys get three picks, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody get that combination of four takeaways,” Kolosso said. “That’s something special there, that’s a season’s worth of takeaways.”
Hortonville will have a record above .500 in conference, which makes the Polar Bears playoff eligible with a chance to guarantee a playoff spot next week at Oshkosh North.
“With us missing last year for the first time since we’ve been here, that was a hard thing to take and watch the season end and to putting the stuff away, not going to a seeding meeting and not having that excitement,” Kolosso said. “It builds all year to that playoff birth, and it’s such an exciting thing. To miss out on that last year, I felt terrible those seniors, and i’m glad these guys get to experience that.”
Weister said he is hopeful the Polar Bears have a shot at playing a home game in the postseason.
“Hopefully, this is not our last game on the home field, but it was nice to go out that way,” Weister said.
The Polar Bears went ahead 28-0 by the second quarter.
“I loved how we came out and started,” Kolosso said. “We talk about running the football and trying to come out aggressively on defense to create takeaways. We definitely did both of those things initially.”
Hortonville marched down the field on its first possession to take a 6-0 lead after a five-yard touchdown for Jose Concepcion, who scored four times and rushed for 261 yards on 34 carries.
After Weister’s pick-six, he recovered a fumble, which led to a 20-yard score for Concepcion to make it 21-0 in the first quarter.
Weister recovered another fumble midway through the first quarter, but Appleton East made a stop at the goal line on the Polar Bears’ drive.
Hortonville went up 28-0 after a 13-yard score for Concepcion early in the second quarter.
The Polar Bears scored late in the second quarter, but a holding penalty negated the touchdown, and Hortonville went into halftime with a 28-point lead.
Appleton East scored a touchdown on its first possession of the second half.
“What was frustrating was all we talk about in this program is to put a four-quarter effort together and be consistent,” Kolosso said. “That means not having the mental errors or taking your foot off the gas once we get going. In the second quarter and first drive of the third, that’s what we were fighting there.”
Kolosso said Appleton East has a good offense but was unable to get its offense on track in the first half after four turnovers.
“They could never get anything going with the fumbles and interceptions,” Kolosso said. “I don’t think we saw what they were capable of until they settled in.”
Dylan Schmidt scored from three yards out to give the Polar Bears a 35-7 lead late in the third quarter.
Schmidt rushed for 26 yards on five carries and had an interception on defense.
Hortonville quarterback Kyle Allen’s pass was intercepted and returned for a score early in the fourth quarter. He finished 6 of 12 for 65 yards with three interceptions.
Concepcion scored his fourth touchdown of the game, and Appleton East’s final drive ended with an interception from Weister.
“We talk all the time when the ball goes up or if you’ve got a chance to get in there and rip that thing, you’ve got to do it,” Kolosso said. “The weather helps out too. Jackson did something pretty special tonight with four takeaways.”