The Brandon-Evansville football team had one of the best seasons in program history in 2019, which meant there was plenty to honor at the Chargers’ season-ending banquet.
Senior Tanner Bitzan has been an anchor on this team for years, and he finished things off for his career by being named B-E’s back of the year.
Bitzan impacted the game on both sides of the ball. He led B-E with 66.5 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss. He carried the ball offensively 56 times for 380 yards and seven touchdowns and also had a team-high 16 receptions for 306 yards and three touchdowns.
Mike Cochran was a key figure on the solid line play that made the Chargers tough to beat, and he was named the lineman of the year for B-E. Cochran had 38 total tackles defensively up front. He had a team-high 3.5 sacks and tallied 8.5 tackles for loss.
Nathan Baumann and Kyle Schaffran shared the Special Teams Player of the Year Award. Tyler Bitzan was named the rookie of the year, John Roers was the scout player of the year and Nick Lundeen won the Dallas Hanson Desire Award.
The Chargers were a top-ranked 9-man team in the state by the end of a 9-2 season, and they were well represented with statewide honors.
Tanner Bitzan and senior quarterback Keagan Schiele were both named to the all-state team in 9-man, and junior running back/linebacker Cade Carlson was an honorable-mention selection. Carlson led the Chargers in rushing with 1,136 yards and 18 touchdowns on 130 carries, good for an 8.7 yards-per-carry average. Schiele threw for 937 yards and 12 touchdowns to just two interceptions and also ran for 430 yards and seven scores.
Schiele, Tanner Bitzan, Carlson and senior Marshall Riedel were named all-section players. Andrew Johnson joined those same four as all-district players, while Andrew Perrin and Cochran were honorable-mention all-district.
The Chargers’ only two losses came in close contests against eventual 9-man runner-up, Hancock. Brandon-Evansville also performed well in the classroom as they earned a 9-Man Gold Academic Award as a team. Johnson was academic all-state as an individual, as well.