After two weeks on the road, the Brandon-Evansville football team finally got to play a game in front of its home fans. They didn't disappoint.
The Chargers shutout the Bertha-Hewitt Bears (1-2) 42-0 in Brandon on Friday night to stay undefeated this season.
"It's awesome to be back at home where we know we always play great," quarterback Keagan Schiele said. "The younger guys brought the heat in practice all week. We get wins because of them because they get us ready. People don't see that, but it goes a long way for us."
Despite the big win, B-E had to overcome a slow start. The Chargers were looking to establish their running game early. After only six points in the first quarter, head coach Tim Pattrin had to make some adjustments.
"Bertha-Hewitt is a team that fights. They're big and strong so we knew it was going to be a battle," Pattrin said. "They were selling out against our running game. We've been working on our play-action passing game because of teams that like to do that a lot. We were able to hit some open receivers. We saw them finish their yards-after-catch."
B-E's ability to make adjustments on the field was the difference-maker. Not only did they hold Bertha-Hewitt scoreless, but they also found a rhythm on offense.
"Guys are always talking on the field with each other," Schiele said. "One of our biggest strengths is we don't need to wait until we get on the sideline for our coaches to tell us what to do in certain situations. Knowing that we don't have to wait to make adjustments until a timeout or halftime is really big for us. We work really well on the fly. We talk about it, fix it and go from there."
The Chargers blew the game wide open in the second quarter. It started with Schiele running the ball for a 45-yard touchdown. He also threw two touchdown passes. After a 45-yard pass to Tony Schaffran for six, Tanner Bitzan found the back of the end zone with a 14-yard touchdown catch.
Cade Carlson added insult to injury with a four-yard touchdown run before the first half ended. B-E took a 34-0 lead into halftime.
"It's great to have so many weapons," Pattrin said. "Tony stepped up, and Kyle (Schaffran) did too. We still don't have Marshall (Riedel) back on offense yet. To add another weapon to that is going to be a lot of fun."
Riedel's return to the offense is going to be a problem for many defenses the Chargers will face this year. After tearing his posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee at the end of the 2019 baseball season, he has yet to take an offensive snap. With homecoming less than a week away, the Chargers look to get their star tailback in the backfield.
"We're going to talk to the trainers and see where we're at with him," Pattrin said. "He's been looking really good so far. He was able to play defense and special teams tonight. We might start with a pitch count next week. We need to make sure he's good to go before we do anything further."
In his absence, Cade Carlson has done enough to earn his share of carries the rest of the season. His ability to fill the role when the team needed him has impressed the coaching staff.
"Cade has always run hard. To have him step up the way he has is great for us," Pattrin said. "We are looking forward to Marshall coming back. We want to spread some carries out so Cade stops taking so many hits."
When Riedel returns, he will join a large senior class. It's a group that has high expectations for this fall and the seasons to come.
"This year means a lot to me knowing that I get to spend it with my family and my friends," Schiele said. "For us, the sky's the limit. We don't think that anything can stop us and that if we keep going in the right direction that we can go as far as we want."
The Chargers will look to stay undefeated next week when they play Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (0-3) in their homecoming game.
"Homecoming is always an interesting week," Pattrin said. "We want the kids to have fun and enjoy themselves. At the same time, we still have a football game to win. We need them to get to practice with the same focus they've had all year. It's a fun time, but the kids are going to be focused when they need to be. They'll be ready to go."
BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 6 28 0 8 - 42
BERTHA-HEWITT 0 0 0 0 - 0
SCORING- FIRST QUARTER- 6:57:Keagan Schiele 14-yard TD pass to Kyle Schaffran (Two-point conversion no good) 6-0;
SECOND QUARTER- 10:48: Keagan Schiele 45-yard TD run (Two-point conversion no good) 12-0; 7:13: Keagan Schiele 45-yard TD pass to Tony Schaffran (Two-point conversion no good) 18-0; 4:10: Keagan Schiele 14-yard TD pass to Tanner Bitzan (Two-point conversion good) 26-0; 0:32: Cade Carlson 4-yard TD run (Two-point conversion good) 34-0;
FOURTH QUARTER- 6:53: Tyler Bitzan 3-yard TD run (Two-point conversion good) 42-0
B-E RUSHING- Cade Carlson 23 carries, 99 yards, TD; Keagan Schiele 2 carries, 64 yards,TD; Tyler Bitzan 7 carries, 37 yards, TD; Tanner Bitzan 4 carries, 22 yards; Ryland Yeats 3 carries, 9 yards;
B-E PASSING- Keagan Schiele 11-14, 243 yards, 3TD
B-E RECEIVING- Tanner Bitzan 4 receptions, 83 yards, TD; Tony Schaffran 3 receptions, 70 yards, TD; Luke Moore 1 reception, 54 yards; Kyle Schaffran 3 receptions, 36 yards, TD