GIBSONBURG – The Hilltop Cadets made the long trip to Sandusky County to take on the Golden Bears of Gibsonburg on October 12. With both teams sporting 2-5 records, this TAAC battle had all the makings of an evenly matched game. It didn’t take the Bears that long to take the even out of the equation though, as the hobbled Hilltop squad, now with Billy Wagner out with injuries, quickly fell behind and lost by a 54-20 score.
By the time that Justin Grapengeter ran the ball in for the first Cadet score of the evening at the 9:36 mark in the second period, Gibsonburg had already built a 19-0 advantage. The Bears replied with three more touchdowns to blow the game open, making it a 40-7 game at the half.
The Bears struck again late in the third period, then scored with 5:29 left in the game to make the score 54-7. Hilltop was able to close the gap against the JVs, as Chad Champion busted off a 56-yard run at the 3:06 mark. Miklo Abner bulled his way in from 31 yards out with seven seconds left in the game for the final score of the night.
Mikel Burlew was 3 of 11 through the air for 54 yards and an interception for the 2-6 Cadets. Champion caught two passes for 31 yards, and Grapengeter hauled in a pass for 23 yards.
Grapengeter finished with a touchdown on 4 attempts, with Abner going 17 times for 82 yards and a score. Champion had 7 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown, Burlew ran 8 times for 17 yards, and Will McKinney ran once for 9 yards.
Cayden Blaisdell led the defense with 7 stops.
Hilltop welcomes the 1-7 squad from Cardinal Stritch into Daft Field on October 19.