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Football: Chargers dominated Hillcrest to move to 1-1

Brandon-Evansville senior Levi Hintermeister sheds a tackle against Verndale on Sept. 1. Hintermeister rushed for 149 yards in that game and had another big performance on Friday to help the Chargers beat Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 50-0. (Lowell Anderson | Echo Press)

The Brandon-Evansville football team has high hopes for this season and didn't want to fall to 0-2 early in the year.

The Chargers didn't. Not even close, as Brandon-Evansville dominated Hillcrest Lutheran Academy on Friday night in a 50-0 win.

"It was very good," B-E head coach Tim Pattrin said. "We really talked about worrying about ourselves, just like we always do. We don't play up or down to people, we play a constant Charger football. It was nice to see that happen where the guys came out and did their jobs and now we move on to next week."

The Comets (0-2) are not the same team from a year ago that finished 10-2 and went to the 9-man state tournament. Hillcrest has yet to score this season after also getting shut out 54-0 at Rothsay in week one.

"Hillcrest is down a bit, but we're not focused on that," Pattrin said. "Guys played well tonight on defense. They were gang tackling, we were getting nine hats to the ball, we were getting into our zone drops when they threw the ball. Guys were playing a very selfless defense."

The Chargers also ran the ball at a high level on offense. Linemen opened holes, and seniors Jake Hintermeister and Nick Thorstad put together a second straight solid week rushing the ball.

"Jake and Nick had another big night," Pattrin said. "Jake had a really big night, but we threw the ball a bit too. Keagan (Schiele) threw the ball well, and Darrin Wibstad had a nice, long touchdown. We had a lot of things go well tonight. Still have some things to work on, but it was a much better night tonight. Much better intensity, much better tackling, much better blocking all around."

Hintermeister and Thorstad both hit the 100-yard mark rushing in the 36-26 loss to Verndale on Sept. 1. That was a positive sign in the opener with senior Taylor Bitzan working his way back into things after recovering from an ACL tear this off-season.

Pattrin said Bitzan, who led the team in rush yards a year ago, played about a dozen snaps against the Comets at his linebacker position on defense. The play of Hintermeister and Thorstad in the first two weeks has been a good sign for this team, with coaches not wanting to rush Bitzan back offensively.

"Even when Taylor gets back to full go, we know we have guys who can rotate in," Pattrin said. "We can really be cautious with this thing. Not that we'd rush him back anyway but we want to make sure he's healthy. He's got a lot more than just football going on. He has basketball and baseball and the rest of his life ahead of him. We've been honest with him from the beginning and said we're going to ease you into this because we want you at the end of the year rather than just here at the beginning."

The Chargers hope to have him back at 100 percent and playing in some important games in late October. Friday's win was a step in the right direction with Wheaton-Herman-Norcross coming to Brandon for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 15.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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