It’s only week two of the high school football season, but two Wisconsin football powers didn’t disappoint the fans with an early season showdown in the Fox Valley Association.
More than 4,000 fans packed Paul Engen Field and watched Kimberly jump on the board first. The Papermakers recovered what was ruled a fumble on a Kimberly punt, with the officials saying the ball touched an Appleton North returnman at the 15-yard line. The call appeared to be a bad one and with North still shocked by that turn of events, the Papermakers pounced on the opportunty as Mitch Hintz ran it in on the next play from 15-yards out. The extra point sailed wide left and Kimberly led 6-0.
It didn’t take the Lightning long to respond though. They went back to their power game with 2,000 yard rusher Steve Lichtfuss and the senior running back responded on the next series with a 69 yard touchdown run. The extra point failed and the score was tied 6-6.
The game winner didn’t come until the 3rd quarter. With Kimberly stacking the line, trying to put the breaks on Lichtfuss, North quarterback Andrew Giaimo went play action and hit a wide open Tremayne Williams on a 58-yard touchdown pass. This time the two-point conversion failed and North led it 12-6.
The Lightning then had to hold off the 2-time defending state champs and they pulled it off, despite several players suffering cramped muscles down the stretch.
It’s the first time North (2-0) beat Kimberly since the 2005 season when they won 42-21. Kimberly (1-1) saw it’s 28 game conference win streak and 29 game overall win streak come to an end.
Steve Lichtfuss finished with 151 yards rushing. Kimberly, despite the loss, rushed for over 300 yards as a team. North won the game, but this conference (Fox Valley Association) race is far from over with 7-games left.