KIMBERLY — Kimberly football coach Steve Jones gathered his team together before Friday night's showdown against Appleton North and told his kids they weren't as good as North.
Jones was basing his words on a four-game losing streak to Lightning.
Did he believe it? No, it was a way to get his team fired up for the biggest game of the season to-date.
Moments after the talk the teams took the field and Kimberly players took their coach's words to heart. Before anybody got comfortable Kimberly sent a message with 21 quick points and went on to dismantle the Lightning, 49-14, in the GameTime Game of the Week at Papermaker Stadium.
“Our kids came out and played a little angry,” Jones said. “It’s something we’ve been preaching as a coaching staff, play with passion and they did that.”
Kimberly (6-0) scored on its first three possessions. First, QB Scott Schreiber scored on a 34-yard run, then J.P. Peerenboom scored on a 28-yard TD run after a Spencer Hermus interception.
Then after forcing a punt, Weston Guilfoyle scored on a 47-yard pass from Schreiber, so with 5:48 left in the first quarter the rout was on.
The 21 points were the most Kimberly, ranked No. 1 in the FOX 11 Top 11, had scored against No. 5 North in the last five years and the game wasn’t even seven minutes old.
Kimberly was averaging 12 points per game in the past four losses to North, but this game was different. Kimberly entered the game averaging 51.2 ppg. and the offense didn't skip a beat against North, which was allowing 7.2 points ppg. this season.
“I think their defense is outstanding,” Jones said. “I really respect their program and their defense year in and year out is unbelievable. I’m kind of impressed myself how we came out. I didn’t expect to start that fast.
“That’s something we’ve been talking about is to try to start fast; we’ve done a pretty good job all year of starting fast. We came out and played well. I think high school football is a game momentum and we got it early.”
Guilfoyle admitted he was surprised how quick his team jumped on North.
“Very surprised,” he said. “Through the last four years we lost to them, so we came out angry and we really stuck it to them.”
Kimberly entered Friday scoring at least 45 points in each game and that remains. Kimberly, which lost QB Ben Diedrick to graduation, has always had a powerful offense but why is this unit so explosive?
“Our whole offensive line returned,” Guilfoyle said. “Our whole offense has returned except for one receiver and one quarterback. We’re doing pretty well, we have a lot of experience.”
While the offense was rolling, so was the defense. Kimberly outgained North (5-1), 350-66 in the first half and Hermus had three interceptions in the game.
Kimberly stifled North's run attack, which it lives off, and was as impressive as the offense.
“Defense played unbelievable,” Jones said. “Our offense is more experienced than the defense. Each week it’s been neat for me to see them grow as a coach and improve. They really made some plays for us.”
The season is six weeks old and the goal for each team is to play 14 games, which would mean it reaches the state title game. Kimberly hasn’t been to state since 2009, but after Friday’s performance it wouldn’t shock anybody if the Papermakers made a deep postseason run.
Kimberly isn’t thinking about Madison yet, but for now Guilfoyle believes this team is better than the 2012 version, saying, “I think we’re just a better team overall.”
After Friday night, it’s hard to argue against that thought.
- Notes: Kimberly outgained North, 439-182. Kimberly had 231 rushing yards and 208 passing yards. … The last win for Kimberly against North came in 2008, when Kimberly won, 24-7. … North had allowed a total of 36 points in its first five games before allowing 49 to Kimberly. … North QB Dan Rothbauer suffered a leg injury but only missed six offensive plays before returning. ... North outscored Kimberly, 14-7, in the second half.
- Game ball: Peerenboom, who rushed 13 times for 92 yards and three TDs.
- Numbers game: 49 Points scored against North were 13 more than North allowed in its first five games combined.
KIM: Scott Schreiber 34 yd td run (kick good). KIM 7-0
KIM: J.P. Peerenboom 28 yd td run (kick good). KIM 14-0
KIM: Weston Guilfoyle 47 yd pass from Schreiber (kick good). KIM 21-0
KIM: Peerenboom 7 yd run (kick failed). KIM 27-0
KIM: Peerenboom 4 yd run (pass good). KIM 35-0
KIM: Jake Johnson 8 yd pass from Schreiber (kick good). KIM 42-0.
KIM: Blair Mulholland 60 yd run (kick good). KIM 49-0.
AN: Javonte McGraw 37 yd pass from Dan Rothbauer (kick good). KIM 49-7.
AN: Nick Schilling 12 yd pass from Matt Htwe (kick good). KIM 49-14
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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