The seventh-seeded Bertha-Hewitt Bears drew the tough task of facing #2 Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley Tuesday afternoon in the first round of 9-Man/Section 4 playoffs.
The Bears had faced C-G-B in the first game of the season and were hoping to improve on their first effort, which resulted in a 30-0 loss. While Bertha-Hewitt proved to be better offensively, the Wolverines also showed improvement and handed the Bears a 44-0 defeat to end their season.
The Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley defense proved stout enough to keep the Bears out of the end zone once again, but Bertha-Hewitt managed more offensive yards and first downs than in the earlier meeting. Unfortunately for the Bears’ defense, the Wolverines showcased an improved passing attack that netted them two early touchdowns against a more aggressive Bears’ defense.
Bertha-Hewitt was eventually outgained 435 yards to 149 yards on the night.
“We felt like we needed to blitz them and take some chances because in the first game they were able to line up and run right over us,” stated Bears’ head coach Rick Harig. “For the most part, we did a better job of making stops in the run game. However when you blitz you also put yourself in danger of giving up big plays.”
Ethan Kimber led Bertha-Hewitt in rushing with 60 yards. He also led the receiving corps with two catches for 10 yards. Zack Waln led the defensive effort with 6.5 tackles, while Charlie Nienaber added 5.5 tackles. Cody Brown and Raphael Ortiz each recovered fumbles for the Bears’ defense. Zachary Mousseau and Brown continued to provide a spark on kick returns averaging 21.3 yards per return.
“This has been a fun year where lots of people had to step up and play different positions,” Harig said. “They were a great group to work with and I look forward to continuing to build on the progress we made this year.”