by Peter Jakey–
What a week for running back Nick Hincka. He started his week in the Posen High School hallways on crutches, after suffering a knee injury at Engadine a few days before.
Head coach Wayne Karsten was formulating a game plan for the final regular season road game at Mid-Peninsula (Mid-Pen) without him.
The MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) showed there were no torn ligaments last Wednesday and he wanted back on the field.
The knee was sore, but he was brought back into the fold.
“At practice he was OK,” said Karsten. “We got up there Friday and he said ‘I’m ready to go.’ I said, ‘we’ll take it easy and see what happens.’ ”
The results: he broke his own single-season rushing record of 302 yards set two weeks ago at Bellaire and compiled 338 yards and scored five touchdowns in a 74-46 win over Mid-Pen. The 74 points is the most in Posen football history. The 2000 team scored 72 against Atlanta.
On the sideline, Hincka was pounding his fist on the shoulder pads of his linemen, tackles Eric Rice and John Zaborney and center Mark Jakey, along with wideouts Lucas Litwinski and Martin Mulka, for making it possible.
Hincka scored the record breaker that was sprung by a trap block from Zaborney. He showed no ill effects of the injury with cuts back toward the middle of the field and an impressive burst of speed in the secondary.
It provided an emotional lift to the Vikings (2-5), as they head into their homecoming game against 1-5 Brimley. The only downer heading into week eight was the loss of senior captain Mulka who broke his thumb. His return is doubtful.
The Vikings are not only looking forward to playing on the home field for the first time since Aug. 30, but there is still a shot at the playoffs.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association will match up the top 16 teams in three weeks. The Vikes are currently ranked 20th.
“We are in the playoffs now,” said Karsten. “We have to win out to have a chance. We need some help.
“The good news, if we make it, we won’t be in the U.P. district for the playoffs.” Cedarville, Rapid River, Superior Central and Engadine are going to be the only teams from the U.P. to qualify.
The Vikings got off to a sluggish start after the long trip to Mid-Pen.
Brandon Dietz scored Posen’s first touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run. The score was 8-8 at the end of the first quarter, but the Vikings were just warming up for a humdinger of a second.
Dietz would score on another 1-yard run and tack on the conversion for a 16-8 lead.
The teams would go back and forth. The home team scored on a 16-yard pass play, but missed the conversion.
Following the ensuing kickoff, which went out of bounds, Hincka was off to the races on a 65-yard TD run with 8:20 left in the half. Mulka provided a huge block to pave the way for the score. Dietz ran in another conversion for a 24-14 lead.
Mid-Pen then came up with a freak play on an onside kick. The ball bounced into the hands of a Wolverine, who took it the distance to cut a 10-point lead to two following a successful conversion.
The Vikes lost a fumble at their own 27, but Mid-Pen fumbled it right back on the next play. The pigskin was recovered by Chase Lewandowski. The momentum would stay Posen’s way the rest of the quarter.
Dietz connected with Mulka on fourth and eight for 37 yards. Two players later, Hincka scored from 31 yards out. The conversion pass from Dietz went to Travis Sharpe.
Hincka stripped the ball to go with his 24 tackles and the Vikings were back on offense. The next play, Karsten called Hincka’s number again and he was off again on a 32-yard TD run. Dietz hit Hincka in the end zone for the conversion for a 40-22 score.
The Wolverines tried to convert a fourth and 11 at their own 34 and turned the ball over on downs. Dietz would cap off a four-play drive and convert another conversion pass to Hincka for a 48-22-halftime lead.
Hincka would score on TD runs of 12 and 47 in the third. The latter set the new school record.
Litwinski caught a 67-yard TD pass with less than a minute left and Dietz finished off the scoring with a 31-yard TD run in the fourth.
Rushing: Nick Hincka 21/338/5 TDs; Brandon Dietz 12/129/4 TDs; Travis Sharpe 3/19; Lucas Litwinski 2/3.
Passing: Dietz 5-of-8, 137/TD.
Receiving: Martin Mulka 4/70; Litwinski 1/67/TD.
Defense: Hincka, 24 tackles; Litwinski 23; Mulka