The Brandon-Evansville football team hoped to avenge its 2019 Section 4-9 man championship loss to Hancock on Thursday night but will have to wait until next year to get another chance.
The Owls ran it up on the Chargers with a 56-6 victory in the final game of the regular season. Quarterback Preston Rohloff went 7-for-16 passing for 332 yards with four touchdowns.
“He’s good. He throws a really nice ball, he’s accurate and he makes really good decisions,” head coach Tim Pattrin said. “It’s not just him, though. His receivers came down with some great balls tonight. We had contested throws with hands in their faces. We had great coverage, and they’d still come down with it.”
The Chargers limited the Owls to just one score in the first quarter, However, in the 8:30 before halftime Hancock put on a show. Rohloff found Brandon Kellenberger on a 21-yard touchdown pass before Isaac Neinhaus made it 18-0. With 1:15 left in the first half, Rohloff found Kellenberger again on a 16-yard connection to give the Owls a 26-0 lead.
It looked like the Chargers were going into the half with some momentum. Kobe Reiland led the B-E offense down the field in a one-minute drill. He found Titus Fuller in the back of the end zone to cut Hancock’s lead to 20. However, the Owls struck one more time on the final play before the half.
Rohloff hit Neinhaus on a screen pass. Neinahuse ran the ball 55 yards to the house to give the Owls a 34-6 halftime lead. Neinhause finished the game with five catches for 108 yards. Kellenberger had a big day with seven catches, 150 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our formula, in the beginning, was really working,” Pattrin said. “It was a 6-0 game until midway through the second quarter. We were able to hang with them. Against Hancock, you have to control the clock. We did a good job of that early. We had long drives where we were able to move the ball. We just couldn’t punch it in. Being able to take the ball out of their hands was something we were doing early but struggled to do in the back end of the second quarter.”
The Chargers were 0-for-6 on fourth downs with four turnovers. Pattrin believes if the Chargers would’ve found ways to extend their drives into touchdowns, his team would’ve played with more confidence.
“It would’ve been nice to get some of those in the end zone, but we have to remember we are dealing with high school kids,” Pattrin said. “They have to keep going, and we are a pretty young team. We have a few freshmen and sophomores starting. Even the seniors that we have this is a lot of their first years as a starter. We’ve been so senior heavy for so long.”
Over the last two weeks, B-E has suffered two tough losses. But Pattrin is liking the effort he’s seeing out of his guys.”
“They are getting better over the last two weeks, which is surprising to say considering we lost both games,” Pattrin said. “In the Wheaton game, we just had a bad fourth quarter. We were leading in that game, and we made mistakes that started to snowball. We want to get that under control.”
There won’t be a state champion crowned this fall, but Pattrin is convinced he just saw the team that would’ve won it.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t another 9-man team in the state that could beat Hancock,” he said. “They’re the biggest challenge of the season for whoever they play. ”
HANCOCK 6 28 14 8 - 56
B-E 0 6 0 0 - 6
SCORING- FIRST QUARTER- Hancock- Preston Rohloff 10-yard TD pass to Matt Thompson (two-point conversion no good) 5:00; SECOND QUARTER- Hancock- Rohloff 21-yard TD pass to Brandon Kellenberger (Two-point conversion no good) 8:30; Hancock- Isaac Nienhaus 10-yard TD run (two-point conversion no good) 6:15; Hancock- Rohloff 16-yard TD pass to Kellenberger (Two-point conversion run by Kellenberger good); 1:15; B-E- Kobe Reiland 14-yard TD pass to Titus Fuller (two-point conversion no good) 0:10; Hancock- Rohloff 55-yard TD pass to Neinhaus (Neinhaus two-point conversion good) 0:03; THIRD QUARTER- Neinhaus 2-yard TD run (Neinhaus two-point conversion good) 9:00; Hancock- Devon Schroeder 2-yard TD run (two-point conversion no good) 2:00; Hancock- Brayden Kisgen 7-yard TD run (Brayden Desmith two-point conversion good) 9:00;
TEAM TOTALS- B-E- 165 yards total offense, 52 plays, 38 passing yards, 127 receiving yards, 4 turnovers, 10 first downs, 4-11 third down, 0-6 fourth down; Hancock- 501 total yards, 385 passing yards, 136 rushing yards, 1 turnover, 24 first downs, 6-11 third down, 0-2 fourth down;
B-E- PASSING- Kobe Reiland 4-14, 38 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT; RUSHING- Cade Carlson 21 carries, 90 yards; Rylan Yats 2 carries 23 yards; Logan Haburn 3 carries 19 yards; Tyler Bitzan 3 carries 15 yards; John Roers 3 carries 6 yards; RECEIVING- Titus Fuller 2 catches, 22 yards, TD; Nathan Bauman 2 catches, 16 yards;
DEFENSE- Fuller 5.5 tackles; Roers 4.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Haburn 4.5 tackles; Tyler Bitzan 4 tackles; Baumann 3 tackles, 1 TFL; Mike Cochran 3 tackles; Cade Carlson 2.5 tackles; Reiland 2.5 tackles; Kyle Schaffran 2.5 tackles; Dylan Tracy 1.5 tackles; Aaron Gillespie 1.5 tackles, 1 TFL; Stevie Hamilton 1.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Ben Seifert 1 tackle; Ethan Allen 1 tackle; Yeats 0.5 tackle; Sylly Wales 0.5 tackle Eric Bitzan 0.5 tackle