The Western Brown football team had playoff aspirations entering the 2015 season, but a couple early losses made it difficult on the team to make the postseason.
Nonetheless, the squad entered last Friday’s regular-season finale with a slim chance at a playoff berth and, if Norwood upset New Richmond, a shot at a conference title.
The Broncos struck early, as senior quarterback Chaiten Tomlin returned from injury and connected with wide receiver Wyatt Fischer on an 87-yard touchdown pass to give the Broncos an early 7-0 lead. Things would only get worse from there for Goshen.
Tomlin tossed another touchdown pass in the second quarter to double Western Brown’s lead. Then, it was the special teams’ turn to get involved, blocking a Goshen punt in the end zone for another Bronco touchdown, giving Western Brown a 21-0 lead with 2:52 left in the half.
Less than two minutes later, Fischer struck again, hauling in his second touchdown pass of the game and upping Western Brown’s lead to 27-0. Goshen would score before halftime to cut the deficit to 27-7.
The Broncos would add two more touchdowns in the third quarter to lead 41-7. Goshen countered with a pair of scores in the fourth quarter, but Tomlin’s sixth touchdown pass of the game put away the Warriors.
Tomlin finished with 22 completed passes in 33 attempts for 379 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 177 yards on 13 carries.
Fischer hauled in eight passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Hornung nabbed seven receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. Eli Crall and Carson Eyre each caught two passes for 45 and 70 yards, respectively. Both also had one touchdown reception.
The victory was Western Brown’s seventh win on the season, their first under head coach Don Sizer, who rejoined the Broncos after Evan Dryer became the coach at Oak Hills. Sizer said the transition was difficult for his seniors, who had spent their entire career with Dryer in charge.
“It was a tough thing for them,” Sizer said. “Their head coach left. It was helpful that I knew them. They said that we’re just going to keep going on and do what we do. They had a great work ethic, they were dedicated to what needed to be done.”
Western Brown avoided the letdown following an emotional senior night ceremony the week prior.
“It was a unique situation,” Sizer said. “Last week being senior night with all the emotions and the sadness that goes along with it. Afterwords, we talked as a staff and as a team that we know we’re all a little drained emotionally. So, during the week of practice, we needed to concentrate on footwork, technique, reads and let’s just get really good and not worrying about the whooping and hollering all that much. Everybody took that to heart. They were technicians.”
The Broncos defense played well the entire game, which allowed Sizer and his staff to get creative, calling fake punts and going for it on fourth down.
“We’re not worried if it doesn’t work as much,” Sizer said. “They practice that all year long. Coach Stacey knew exactly where every kid would be on special teams. It’s a good-bad thing, it stinks that we didn’t do it more because they’re so prepared for it but not doing it often makes it unexpected.”
The Broncos recovered well from a rough two-game stretch that saw the defense surrender 112 points in back-to-back road losses to Harrison and New Richmond. Sizer said the team rebounded and focused on the remaining three games, all of which were Bronco victories.
“We had a little bit of a rough go there during a couple games in the middle of the season,” Sizer said. “All we can do is play these next three games and give it our all. That’s all we can do, that’s all we can control. It’s kind of a cliché but that’s what we did. We weren’t worried about anything other than lining up right, knowing where they’re blitzing from. For three weeks, that was our concentration. It really took the focus off what happened those last couple games to what we’re doing.”