Brandon-Evansville football: Charges fall to HillcrestBrandon-Evansville struggled with turnovers in the 20-14 loss
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
Turnovers and a late defensive stand by the Hillcrest football team kept Brandon-Evansville from finishing the regular season with a win last Wednesday night.
The Chargers had two chances from inside the two-yard line to tie the game at 20 apiece. They took over on their own 34 with 5:47 left, trailing by six. Brandon-Evansville marched down the field and got the ball all the way to the one-yard line before the drive stalled.
The Chargers lost yardage on third and goal from the one. After a timeout, they kept the ball in the hands of Tyson Meissner on a quarterback sneak. The Comets got the push up front and stopped the Chargers for no gain. Hillcrest took over possession and ran the clock out on a 20-14 win.
It could have been a different story had Brandon-Evansville been able to hold onto the ball. The Chargers fumbled six times in the game. They lost three of those, all of which halted drives in Hillcrest territory.
That spoiled what was an effective night on the ground for Brandon-Evansville. The Chargers ran for 246 yards behind Levi Hintermeister and Aaron Lund. Lund set up his team’s first lead with a little more than three minutes left in the first quarter. He capped off a 15-yard drive by punching it in from four yards out. Meissner then converted the two-point conversion to make it an 8-7 game. The opportunity was set up because of a mishandled snap on a Hillcrest punt.
It was a lead that did not last long for the Chargers. The Comets scored on their first possession of the second quarter when Zach Taylor dived for the left pylon to convert a fourth and five.
A promising drive by the Chargers ended with their second fumble of the game with around four minutes left in the half. Taylor made that turnover hurt with his second score of the day with one and a half minutes left in the second quarter.
Hillcrest had to hold on in the second half. The two teams went scoreless in the third quarter before Hintermeister made it a six-point game with almost seven minutes left. He punched it in on third and goal from five yards out.
The Chargers’ defense stymied the Comets on their next possession. Hillcrest was forced to punt with plenty of time left. Brandon-Evansville looked poised to score, driving almost 70 yards without a single pass. The Comets got the stops when it mattered most though, in a battle of two 5-2 teams.
The Chargers, who just two years ago were winless, finished their regular season at 5-3. They were in every game this year, losing those three games by a combined 24 points.
Their regular season earned them the No. 5 seed in the Section 3 nine-man playoffs. They were scheduled to take on fourth-seeded Hills-Beaver Creek last night, Tuesday, in the opening round. A win and the Chargers would play the winner of eighth-seeded Hancock and first-seeded Edgerton-Ellsworth this Saturday at 1:30 p.m.