Brandon-Evansville football coach Tim Pattrin is confident that he has players ready to step into the shoes left behind by a big group of seniors from a 9-2 team last year.
The Chargers’ first chance to prove that comes Friday afternoon on the road. Brandon-Evansville opens its season at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on Oct. 9. The Chargers went 2-0 against CGB in 2019 against a Wolverines program that finished the year at 2-7 overall.
“Going to CGB is always a tough environment because it is a different routine than you are used to,” Pattrin said, referring to an early start time. “Plus, they are a program that is always physical and has no quit, so it is going to be a battle till the end. We need to match their physical play and execute or jobs if we want to be successful.”
The Chargers played two very similar games against the Wolverines last year by beating them 46-14 in week two of the regular season. They then won a 46-8 game in the first round of the Section 4, 9-man playoffs on Oct. 22.
“Their quarterback and running back are back. They run the ball hard, so we will have to get nine guys to the ball all game long,” Pattrin said. “They return some linemen also, so we have to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.”
The Chargers are just excited to be thinking about a season opener again after months of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It's been such a rollercoaster of emotions this fall, so I want to see our guys out there having fun now that they are given the opportunity to play,” Pattrin said. “We have a lot of experienced guys coming back, so we should be able to do our jobs and not have mental mistakes. I want to see the new guys that are getting their first starting experience rise up and play like we know they can.”
In a shortened, six-game regular season, every game carries even a little more importance. The Chargers hope to get a confidence boost right off the bat.
“A win would be great. Playing in a tough environment in the afternoon is a big challenge to teams,” Pattrin said. “If we can limit mistakes and control the ball, we will put ourselves in a great position for the win.”