WALKERTON — Deep inside, Derek Hiler must have the heart of a boxer. When he gets knocked down, he immediately gets back up.
After being stopped cold a week ago against New Prairie, where the Cougar = defense held him to just 13 yards rushing, Hiler bounced back in a big way Friday night.
The Falcon senior rushed for 159 yards and scored three touchdowns as Glenn trounced Culver Community, 35-6. Oh, and Hiler was named Glenn’s Homecoming king, as well.
“I was due for a good night,” said Hiler, who was little bothered by the cold rain that swept over Glenn’s field through the first half. “It was homecoming and the 12th man (Glenn fans) really kept us pumped up.”
Glenn’s victory was also the 100th victory in the career of coach Justin Bogunia, who received a Gatorade bath from his team and a plaque at mid-field when the game was over.
“I’ve been here at Glenn half my life, 17 years,” said Bogunia. “So, yeah, this means a lot.”
The worst-kept secret in Walkerton may be that Bogunia plans to leave after this season.
“I’m still coaching like I did on day one,” said Bogunia. “The only difference is, on day one, my head was spinning. I think I’ve learned a little bit about doing this, since then.”
Glenn took control of Friday’s game quickly — Zach Combs zig-zagged 16 yards for a touchdown less than three minutes into the first quarter — and effectively shut down a short-handed Culver offense.
The Cavaliers played without standout quarterback Collin Stevens, who was injured a week ago against Jimtown. Except for an inexplicable scoring drive right at the start of the third quarter — the Cavs drove 84 yards in six plays — Culver was pretty much bottled up all night.
“They (Glenn) were just playing a lot faster than we did, right out of the gate,” said Culver coach Andy Thomas. “We didn’t wanted to be climbing out of a hole so early, but that’s what happened.”
Glenn (4-4) broke the Northern State Conference battle open as soon as the second quarter began. Jake Strong hauled in a long pass from quarterback Kyle Liedtky and raced 75 yards down the left sideline untouched to make it 14-0 at the 9:08 mark.
A few minutes later, after Strong — on defense — intercepted a pass from Culver QB Preston Hansel, the Falcons drove 21 yards and Hiler reached paydirt from three yards out.
For Culver, the only real bright spot came at the start of the third quarter, when Tucker Schultz raced 37 yards through a big hole in the center of the offensive line, and scored four plays later on a 17-yard bolt.
But Glenn’s defense adjusted, and the Cavs couldn’t get things moving again. Schultz finished the game with 81 yards rushing.
Hansel completed five passes for 63 yards.
“(Hansel) is a great athlete and he’s going to do a great job at quarterback,” said Thomas, “but at the moment, he’s getting his feet wet.”
Adam Dodson added 65 yards to the Glenn rushing total.
• JOHN GLENN 35,
CULVER COMMUNITY 6
Score by quarter
Culver Community: 0 0 6 0 — 6
John Glenn: 7 14 14 0 — 35
JG – Zach Combs 16 run (Michael Schmeltz kick), 9:11.
JG – Jake Strong 75 pass from Kyle Liedtky (Michael Schmeltz kick), 9:08.
JG – Derek Hiler 3 run (Michael Schmeltz kick), 4:33.
CC – Tucker Schultz 17 run (kick failed), 9:23.
JG – Derek Hiler 2 run (Michael Schmeltz kick), 2:32.
JG – Derek Hiler 59 run (Michael Schmeltz kick), 0:56.
Culver John Glenn
First downs 13 15
Rushes-yards 36-168 46-273
Passing yards 63 80
Passing 5-14-1 2-4-0
Punts-avg. 2-22.0 0-0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-1
Penaties-yards 2-15 3-15
RUSHING – Culver Community, Preston Hansel 14-19, Tucker Schultz 10-81, Bradley Beaver 8-33, Trent Elliott 1-7, Micah Budzinski 1-21, Westin Bush 1-(-2), Everett Krueger 1-9. John Glenn, Derek Hiler 19-159, Adam Dodson 10-65, Zach Combs 10-26, Kyle Liedtky 2-6, Allin Walbert 4-14, Michael Schmeltz 1-3.
PASSING – Culver Community, Preston Hansel 5-14-1-63. John Glenn, Kyle Liedtky 2-4-0-80.
RECEIVING – Culver Community, Micah Budzinski 3-43, Tucker Schultz 1-15, Bradley Beaver 1-5. John Glenn, Jake Strong 1-75, Derek Hiler 1-5.