The Brandon-Evansville football team had an unusual leadup to its week four game on Friday night.
The Chargers were originally scheduled to play Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (0-3) at home, but injuries to the Wolverines forced them to cancel that contest. It left Brandon-Evansville looking for another opponent, and second-ranked Mountain Iron-Buhl was facing a similar situation.
The two agreed to meet in the middle as Laporte offered up its facilities for the two to use so one team did not have to make the nearly 4.5-hour drive to the other's home field.
The Chargers (1-3) pushed the Rangers as much as they have been all season. Mountain Iron-Buhl eventually came out with a 28-16 win. The Rangers (4-0) had scored 74, 72 and 48 points in their three prior wins.
“Great game under strange circumstances,” B-E head coach Tim Pattrin said. “ Thank you to Laporte for letting us use their facilities and thanks to MIB for playing us. It was a tough, physical game and we just came up a bit short. Our line blocked well and our backs ran physical. Defensively, we contained their offense for the most part, just gave up a few big plays. We need to have fewer mental mistakes going forward. If we do that we will be a tough team to beat."
The Chargers led 8-6 after the first quarter, thanks to a 9-yard touchdown run by Tyler Bitzan and the 2-point conversion run by quarterback Titus Fuller. The Rangers scored the next four touchdowns -- two each from Damian Tapio and Asher Zubich -- before B-E got a touchdown pass of 51 yards from Fuller to Ryland Yeats in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers put up 264 total yards, compared to 380 for Mountain Iron-Buhl. Bitzan was a big part of that with 126 yards rushing on 25 carries. He also had a team-best 10 tackles.
The Chargers will head to Ortonville on Oct. 1 to face the 2-2 Trojans at 7 p.m.
MOUNTAIN IRON-BUHL 6 6 8 8 - 28
BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 8 0 0 8 - 16
TOTALS - B-E - Offense - 54-264; Penalties - 1-5; Turnovers - 0; Time of possession - 21:55; First downs - 13; Mountain Iron-Buhl - Offense - 58-380; Penalties - 2-30; Turnovers - 1; Time of possession - 24:50; First downs - 21
B-E OFFENSE - PASSING - Titus Fuller - 5-10, 72 yards, TD; RUSHING - Tyler Bitzan - 25-126, TD; Titus Fuller - 15-34; Ryland Yeats - 4-32; RECEIVING - Ryland Yeats - 1-51, TD; Bitzan - 2-17; John Roers - 2-4
MIB OFFENSIVE LEADERS - Rushing - Asher Zubich - 23-137, 2 TD; Damian Tapio - 17-62, 2 TD; Passing - Zubich - 12-16, 166 yards; Receiving - Nik Jesch - 4-96; Riley Busch - 3-46; Hunter Weigel - 2-14; Tapio - 3-10
B-E DEFENSE - Bitzan - 10 tackles, 0.5 TFL; John Roers - 8 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Logan Haburn - 5 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Titus Fuller - 4.5 tackles; Dezmond White - 4.5 tackles; Carter White - 2.5 tackles; Sully Wales - 2 tackles; Ryland Yeats - 1.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL; Aaron Gillespie - 1.5 tackles; Lucas Fuller - 1.5 tackles; Will Englund - 1.5 tackles; Philip Simonson - 1 tackle; Stevie Hamilton - 0.5 tackle; Ben Seifert - 0.5 tackle; Ethan Allen - 0.5 tackle