A landmark win

Alcona tops Hillman to win first football district title

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki The Alcona football team celebrates after winning its first district championship in program history after defeating Hillman by a final score of 56-34 on Friday.

LINCOLN–For the first time in school history, the Alcona Tigers can call themselves district champions.

Alcona won its first district title in program history in front of its home crowd as it defeated Hillman by a final score of 56-34 on Friday.

“The fans have been great for us during these playoff games over that past few weeks and to put this on for them was really fun,” Alcona coach Jason Somers said. “It was just good tonight to see everything working and for me personally to be coaching with guys who coached me in high school, all of this just made this night really special.”

The win sets up Alcona for a regional matchup with Saginaw Nouvel next week.

Alcona opened the scoring early in the first quarter when Jack Hutchinson capped off an eight play drive with a five yard touchdown run as Alcona grabbed an 8-0 lead.

Hillman showed no signs of backing down early and responded on the next drive as it needed nine plays to go 70 yards which ended in Billy Kolcan running for a two yard touchdown to tie the game 8-8.

“We knew we were going to be playing some giants tonight and a good football team in Alcona. Our boys didn’t quit all night and I’m super proud of my boys,” Hillman coach Bill Koenig said.

The second quarter belonged to Alcona and Tim Hutchinson who ran wild and helped Alcona begin pulling away.

Hutchinson broke a 33 yard touchdown run to put Alcona back on top 16-8.

Hillman looked poise to tie the game back up, but fumbled the ball inside the Alcona five yard line.

Alcona took over on its own four yard line and six plays later, Hutchinson made the most of another opportunity as he raced 60 yards for his second score of the quarter.

Hutchinson had one more run left in him as he ripped off another long touchdown run, this one from 42 yards away to help Alcona take a 30-8 lead with 2:56 left in the half.

“Our guys really stepped up our play tonight. We gave the ball to a lot of different guys and got contributions from a lot of different players,” Somers said. “We have some underclassmen playing along with the leadership of our older guys, it’s really good to see this team gel.”

Despite not having an answer for Alcona’s rushing attack, Hillman showed no quit offensively as it found end zone with 26 seconds left to cut the lead to 30-16 after Caine Hunt rushed for a six yard touchdown.

The second half was much of the same for Alcona as it continued to run over Hillman’s defense. Jack Hutchinson scored his second touchdown of the game on the second play of the half when he ran a 60 yard touchdown to put Alcona up 38-16.

Alcona went on to add two more unanswered touchdowns from quarterback Alex Stephenson and Kyle Haeger as Alcona held a 50-16 lead with just over nine minutes left.

Matt Hunt ran a kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown before Alcona scored its final touchdown of the night when Jon Hudgins scored from one yard out.

Hillman played until the final whistle and scored two more times as quarterback Kyler Moir threw two touchdown passes, a 22-yarder to Kolcan and a 25 yard strike to Matt Hunt.

Alcona got the ball back, ran one more play and began to celebrate.

Alcona had more than 600 yards of total offense and was led by Tim Hutchinson who had 243 yards rushing on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns. Jack Hutchinson had 157 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown and Stephenson added 138 yards on eight carries and a score.

Moir had his best game of the year to lead Hillman’s offense going 13-for-16 for 170 yards through the air and two touchdowns. Caine Hunt carries the ball 14 times for 85 yards and a touchdown and Kolcan added 38 yards on the ground and a score.

Hillman ended its final season in 11-man football with a playoff win and despite a tough loss Friday, Koenig believes he and his team went out on top in his final season as coach.

“It has been an amazing ride and I knew if we worked hard this year and stuck together, pushed the guys a little harder, I knew we would do well and despite a tough start to the year we did do well and I told the guys I wouldn’t want to go out to battle with any other group of men and I feel as if I’m going out on top,” Koenig said. “We went out and played good football tonight and that’s all I can ask for. A coach is only as good as his players and I’m proud to say that we are all going out with our head held high.”

After Friday’s win the Tigers know a bigger challenge lies ahead next week.

“We have some big kids up front with talented running backs and a quarterback who can run effectively and that’s who we are,” Somers said. “We concentrate on getting better every week and we know we have a tough challenge with Saginaw Nouvel, but we’ll be ready and prepared. Our boys are excited and ready for the challenge.”