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James Huisman goes for a stiff-arm against Ashby last Friday. Brandon-Evansville beat Ashby 26-22 in the game and Huisman scored the go-ahead touchdown on a kickoff return. (Photo by Blaze Fugina)

Kickoff return gives B-E victory over Ashby

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After giving up the go-ahead touchdown with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Brandon-Evansville football team was able to pull out a 26-22 home win over Ashby thanks to a kickoff return touchdown by James Huisman.

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The Chargers were able to pick up the rivalry game victory even though Ashby outgained them in total offensive yards 451 to 238.

Head coach Tim Pattrin said the win was one of the best for Chargers football in his second season with the team.

"This is a great one," Pattrin said. "The guys have really been working hard and they have shown the character that we have been talking about. This is a big step for this program, to win this rivalry game."

The Arrows jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a 69-yard touchdown run and an 84-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Blake Ohren. The passing touchdown was scored by Arrows receiver Zach Barry.

But the Chargers responded with a five-yard touchdown run by Cody Lund with a minute remaining in the first quarter. Then in the second quarter, Cody Walker scored a touchdown on a four-yard run to tie the game at 14-14.

When the Arrows took the early lead, the Chargers coaching staff told their players to focus on their game plan and to continue gaining yards on the ground.

"The guys did it," Pattrin said. "They kept their heads in there and they kept just pounding the ball and we just wore them down."

Both teams went scoreless in the third quarter, and the Chargers finally broke the tie with 4:30 left in the game on a six-yard touchdown run by Cody Walker, his second of the night. That put them up 20-14 after a missed extra point attempt.

But the Arrows responded with a score of their own. They marched the ball down the field before Ohren scrambled out of the pocket and found Arrows receiver Reed Hanson in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown pass with two minutes remaining. That is when Huisman returned the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown to give the Chargers a 26-22 lead.

The defense then forced the Arrows to turn the ball over on downs to seal the victory.

The Chargers had been working on kickoff returns in practice before the game, and they felt confident about their execution heading into the game against Ashby.

"We've really been practicing our kick returns and things, and we've been so close this game with a couple of them," Pattrin said. "We really thought we had a chance to break one and picked the perfect time to do it."

After catching the kickoff, Huisman said the blocks were set up perfectly for him to break off a big return.

"The blocks were set up perfect," Huisman said. "Got past everybody, got some blocks downfield and just kept running."

Huisman led the Chargers' offense with 156 yards rushing on 27 attempts. Lund rushed for 24 yards on seven attempts with a touchdown, and Walker picked up 19 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.

"It was my first two varsity touchdowns so I'm pretty proud of that," Walker said.

The Chargers gained a total of 203 yards on the ground, and Pattrin showed his appreciation to the offensive line for setting up the blocks to get that done.

"We took care of the line, and that's where it was won," Pattrin said. "You can't give enough credit to our line tonight."

Before the season began, the Chargers were looking forward to the rivalry game against Ashby. Last season Ashby beat the Chargers at home 30-6.

"It probably will be the best win of the season all season long," Huisman said.

The win against the area rivals was well received by the Chargers players. The win gave the Chargers a 2-0 record against Pheasant Conference opponents this season

"I'm just so glad we beat them," Walker said. "We deserve it. We played harder than them."

This Friday the Chargers will play an away game at Hancock. Last season, Hancock finished the season winless, but they nearly pulled one out in a 30-28 loss to the Chargers.

GAME STATISTICS

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 7 7 0 12 — 26

ASHBY 14 0 0 8 — 22

TEAM STATISTICS — B-E — First downs — 13; Rushing Yards — 203; Passing yards — 35; Total plays — 60; Total offense — 238; Fumbles lost — 1; Penalties — 3-35; Time of possession — 26:45; ASHBY — First downs — 20; Rushing yards — 248; Passing yards — 203; Total plays — 70; Total offense — 451; Fumbles lost — 0; Penalties — 10-102; Time of possession — 21:15

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE OFFENSE — Rushing — James Huisman — 27-156; Cody Lund — 7-24, 1 TD; Cody Walker — 7-19, 2 TDs; Tyson Thorstad — 1-2; Tom Bosek — 10-2; Passing — 4-8, 35 yards, 1 INT; Receiving — Will Schroeder — 1-24 yards; Tyson Thorstad — 1-5; Skyler Quinn — 1-4; James Huisman — 1-2

ASHBY OFFENSE — Rushing — Blake Ohren — 18-127, 1 TD; Hunter Fick — 10-72; Gage Olson — 11-28; Reed Hanson — 4-17; Zach Barry — 1-4; Passing — Blake Ohren — 12-26, 2 TDs; Receiving — 6-52, 1 TD; Zach Barry — 5-136, 1 TD; Hunter Fick — 1-15

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE DEFENSE — Will Schroeder — 9 tackles, .5 TFL; James Huisman — 8.5 tackles; Cody Lund — 6 tackles; Christian McGaffey — 6 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFL; Tyson Thorstad — 5 tackles; Skyler Quinn — 4.5 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 0.5 TFL; Jordan Lund — 4.5 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1.5 TFL; Cody Walker — 3.5 tackles; Brad Challes — 3 tackles, 1.5 TFL; Brandon Christianson — 2.5 tackles; McKennen Plaster — 1.5 tackles; Robbie Juul — 1.5 tackles; Evan Bedore — 1.5 tackles; Pat McGaffey — 1 tackle

ASHBY DEFENSE — Hunter Fick — 15.5 tackles; Reed Hanson — 8 tackles; Triston Korkowski — 6 tackles; Gage Olson — 5 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFL; Jeff Berglund — 5 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL; Blake Ohren — 3.5 tackles, 1 TFL; Dakota Fossan — 3 tackles; Zach Barry — 2 tackles; Devin Young — 2 tackles; Sid Kamrath — 1 tackle

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