Hopkins posts win over Wayland for third straight season
The weather wasn’t the only thing that was fantastic on Thursday, Aug. 28.
The 5,000-plus fans who packed the stands in Hopkins were treated to a real old-fashioned, hard-hitting, action-filled football game.
“It’s great to be back playing football again,” said Hopkins senior running back/linebacker Wyatt Stegeman, who led the Vikings to a 27-8 season opening victory over Allegan County rival Wayland.
Stegeman not only rushed for a game-high 100 yards on 13 carries, but also scored two touchdowns on runs of three and seven yards. Stegeman broke three tackles on his second TD run.
Defensively, Stegeman left one Wayland ball carrier wondering where he was.
“He has a chip on his shoulder,” Viking coach Cody Francis said of Stegeman.
The Hopkins stands were buzzing after Stegeman’s monster hit, one of his eight tackles.
“The kid from Wayland was seeing stars,” said Jim Wilson, a crowd control official for Hopkins.
There is a reason Stegeman played like a wild man against the Wildcats.
“I’m sick and tired of losing our first game of the playoffs the last three years,” Stegeman said. “We’re determined that won’t happen again, but our first goal is to win the (OK) Silver.”
Stegeman and his teammates had something even more important on their mind as they rushed to a tree they recently planted. They had their picture taken by the tree in honor of Kaelee Noble, the 11-year-old granddaughter of longtime Hopkins assistant coach Glenn Noble, who died last January.
“She was one of our captains at one of our games last year,” Stegeman said.
The longest play of the night was a 73-yard touchdown pass from Vikings quarterback Ryan Pierce to running back Quincy Collings, the 2014 Division 3 state high jump champion.
For full story, pick up a copy of the September 4 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.