Football: Chargers hold on to hand Bears their first loss
Wins are not supposed to come easy on a 3-0 team’s home field, and it didn’t for the Brandon-Evansville football team on Friday night.
Bertha-Hewitt hosted the Chargers in a battle of two teams with just one loss between them. In the end, the Chargers (3-1) built an early lead and held on late to win a 27-20 game and hand the Bears (3-1) their first loss of the season.
“They were able to keep it close,” B-E head coach Tim Pattrin said. “I think they had 14 points in the last two minutes, but we made the play we needed to to get out of there with a win.”
Brandon-Evansville scored on its opening drive on an 11-yard run from Jake Hintermeister only to watch the Bears' Andrew Becker return the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. The Chargers answered right back with a five-yard touchdown from Nick Thorstad, and it was 21-8 after the first quarter once quarterback Keagan Schiele hit Darrin Wibstad on an 18-yard touchdown pass.
That’s how things stood at the half too, but Bertha-Hewitt wasn’t done. The Chargers upped their lead to 27-8 on a two-yard touchdown run from Hintermeister early in the fourth quarter.
That's when Bears' senior quarterback Adam Bauch started to make things happen through the air. He connected with Devin Dean on an 11-yard touchdown and again with Brett Jansen on a 20-yard strike. All of a sudden it was a seven-point game late in the fourth quarter.
“We thought we could wear them down with the heat,” Pattrin said. “They have some big guys, but they stood in there. They battled to the end and their QB did a really good job throwing the ball, something we weren’t expecting coming in.”
The Chargers had to make one last stop in a one-possession game. They did that, turning Bertha-Hewitt over on downs near the B-E 20-yard line with less than 20 seconds left.
“Guys made plays when they needed to,” Pattrin said.
It was a big win for the Chargers as they took their third straight game since dropping the opener to Verndale. Senior running backs Nick Thorstad and Jake Hintermeister ran well behind their big offensive line again as Hintermeister had 140 yards on 28 carries with the two touchdowns, and Thorstad had 81 yards and the touchdown. Schiele was also 11-of-16 passing for 141 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
The Chargers are now 3-1 overall and in the District 9 West (South). That’s tied with Bertha-Hewitt in a talented district that features 4-0 Verndale and a Rothsay team that is 4-0 and outscoring opponents by almost 40 points per game.
“We’re getting confident,” Pattrin said. “Every year you have a game like this where you battle and get out with a close win. We showed a lot of heart and character. I’m happy with where we’re at right now.”
B-E 21 0 0 6 - 27
B-H 8 0 0 12 - 20
TOTALS - B-E - Offense - 366; Passing - 141; Rushing - 225; Turnovers - 3; First downs - 22; B-H - Offense - 153; Passing - 147; Rushing - 6; Turnovers - 3; First downs - 6
SCORING - First quarter - B-E - Jake Hintermeister 11-yard run; Tanner Bitzan PAT; B-H - Andrew Becker 90-yard kick return; Holt Truax two-point conversion; B-E - Nick Thorstad 5-yard run; PAT no good; B-E - Keagan Schiele 18-yard pass to Darrin Wibstad; Nick Thorstad two-point conversion run
SECOND QUARTER - No scoring
THIRD QUARTER - No scoring
FOURTH QUARTER - B-E - Hintermeister 2-yard run; Two-point conversion no good; B-H - Adam Bauch 11-yard pass to Devin Dean; Two-point conversion no good; B-H - Bauch 20-yard pass to Brett Jansen; Two-point conversion no good
B-E OFFENSE - Passing - Schiele - 11-16, 141 yards, TD, INT; Receiving - Marshal Riedel - 3-53; Hintermeister - 6-36; Mike Schroeder - 1-34; Wibstad - 1-18, TD; Rushing - Hintermeister - 28-140, 2 TD; Thorstad - 20-81, TD; Schiele - 4-6; Riedel - 2-(-2)
B-E DEFENSE - Tanner Bitzan - 8 tackles, 1 TFL; Taylor Bitzan - 4.5 tackles, 1 TFL; Avery Wendt - 3 tackles, 1 TFL; Trent Landowski - 2.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Chris Vinson - 2 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Mike Schroeder - 2 tackles, 1 TFL; James Strese - 1.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Wibstad - 1.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Hintermeister - 1 tackle; Cade Carlson - 1 tackle; Thorstad - 0.5 tackles, 1 INT; Colton Sherman - 0.5 tackle