It would be an unseasonably warm night but for some fans across lakes country a long waited one. Minnesota football is back. The Rothsay Tigers would start their delayed and abbreviated season traveling to Bertha, to take on the Bertha-Hewitt Bears.
The Tigers would start on offense behind their talented rushing attack. The Bertha-Hewitt Bears behind new head coach Troy Anderson, would be up to the challenge stopping the Tigers on their first two drives without giving up a first down. After a blocked punt, the Bears would have excellent field position on their second possession and take advantage. The Bears would score and take an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Tigers would start to gain some momentum on their next possession but stall out on the 24yard line as Bertha-Hewitt forced a turnover on downs. This time the Bears would start to drive down the field, but the Tiger defense would force a turnover on downs themselves. With both teams committed to running the ball and two long drives in a row the clock would wind down fast leaving the halftime score with the Bears leading 6-0.
With two seemingly even matched teams it would be a matter of who fought harder and who made the right halftime adjustments as to see who came out better in the second half. “I thought we made some mistakes on offense,” Rothsay coach Joshua Nordick said. “We were striking distance away from being up a couple as our defense kept us in the game in the first half.”
The Bears would take their first possession of the second half into the end zone, highlighted by a 32-yard pass play before rushing it into the end zone. They would fail on the 2-pt attempt but extend their lead 12-0.
The Bears would score one more time before Rothsay would find the end zone themselves cutting Bertha-Hewitt’s lead to 20-8, keeping their hopes alive in the 3rd quarter. The exhausted Rothsay Defense would start to falter in the 4th quarter giving up 2 more scores and failing to capitalize on their opportunities on offense for a final score of 34-8, giving Coach Anderson his first win.
“We didn’t come out to win in the second half,” Nordick would go on to say. “We were way too tentative filling gaps and not in sync on offense. With the short amount of practice time given to us by the state, it was evident we were not ready for this game and that is on me.”
The Tigers play Lake of the Woods on Wednesday night. The game is at a neutral site in Erskine, MN to accommodate the long travel for both teams.