The Brandon-Evansville football players came into their game against Bertha-Hewitt on Saturday night with their eyes set on the Fargodome.
The Chargers had beat the Bears earlier in the season 27-20 and they had the momentum of an eight game winning streak behind them. The Chargers kept the momentum rolling with a 30-12 win over the Bears in the Section 4, 9-man playoffs, securing their spot in Fargo on Nov. 3 at 12:30 p.m.
The Chargers led 16-12 with 5:24 left in the third quarter when Trey Bosek snagged an interception that set the Chargers offense up on the 34 yard line. The very next play, Taylor Bitzan made a run into the end zone, securing a stronger Chargers lead.
“It was a big swing in momentum,” Bosek said. “We ended up feeding off of that and getting another big play into the end zone.”
The two point was no good, but the Chargers led 22-12 going into the fourth.
“That probably put it away right there,” Bitzan said about the change of momentum.
The Bears took an early 6-0 lead when Devin Dean received the kickoff and ran it in for a touchdown.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to get off,” Chargers coach Tim Pattrin said. “We have a lot of character on this team. Hats off to Bertha. They battled us all night. They showed a lot of heart and they fought us until the clock ran down.”
The Chargers didn’t take long to take the lead after that early deficit. Darrin Wibstad caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Keagan Schiele in the first quarter. Bosek caught the pass for the two point conversion.
It wasn’t a perfect a game for the Chargers, said Pattrin.
“They gave us some issues,” Pattrin said. “They took away a good half of our field that we weren’t able to run anything to.”
Schiele connected again with Bosek in the end zone with a 21-yard pass with 9:36 left in the first half. Bitzan carried the ball over making the score, 16-6. The Bears responded three minutes later when Holt Truax made a one yard carry into the end zone, pushing the score to 16-12 at the half.
“We thought we had to get it together and do what it takes,” Bitzan said about the Bears chasing them in the first half.
Bitzan got the last touchdown on the night with one minute left in the game. Schiele carried the ball over for the two point conversion making the final score 30-12.
The Chargers are 9-1 now heading into the section championship game against undefeated Verndale (10-0).
“It’s been a long time since this team has been to the FargoDome,” Bosek said. “We hope to do it for this community.”
Verndale is the only team that has defeated the Chargers. They fell 36-26 to the Pirates in the season opener.
“It’s another game,” Pattrin said. “The guys are motivated. We’ve played Verndale at the beginning of the year and the end of the year for the last three years. The guys know each other. We know what they do and they know what we do.”
The Chargers, on average, hold their opponents to 13.4 points per game and get 44.4 points up on the board. Verndale has held their opponents to 12.6 points and scored 51.5 points per game.
“We’re ready to go,” Bosek said. “We’re ready to play Verndale. Hoping to get that ‘W’ so we can go to state. We’ve got to want to win that game.”
Verndale slammed Hancock 61-18 to earn its spot at the Fargodome. The Chargers defeated Hancock 50-18 on Oct. 18.
“We have to focus on fixing our mistakes. We have to heal up a little bit and next week, we’ll see where the cards fall,” Pattrin said.BRANDON-EVANSVILLE - 8 8 6 8 - 30 BERTHA-HEWITT - 6 6 0 0 - 12 SCORING - FIRST QUARTER - Bertha - Devin Dean receives the kickoff and runs the ball in for a touchdown. The two point is no good. Brandon - Keagan Schiele hits Darrin Wibstad with a touchdown pass. Trey Bosek caught a Schiele pass for the two point conversion. SECOND QUARTER - Brandon - Schiele hits Bosek with a 21 yard pass. Taylor Bitzan carried it over for the two point conversion. Bertha - Holt Truax makes a one yard carry into the endzone. The two point was no good. THIRD QUARTER - Brandon - Bitzan makes a 34 yard run into the end zone. The two point conversion is missed. FOURTH QUARTER - Brandon - Bitzan runs into the end zone for the touchdown. Schiele makes the run for the two point conversion.