Carter Perlinger and Conner Bertram combined to rush for 372 yards and five touchdowns in leading Bertha-Hewitt to a 46-16 9-man football victory over United North Central in the regular-season finale at Sebeka on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
The Bears stopped UNC’s offense on the opening series and put together a six-play, 39-yard drive to take the lead. Kenny Hegarty’s 18-yard run to the 11 set up an 11-yard TD run by Bertram, who ran in the conversion to give B-H an 8-0 lead.
After both teams exchanged punts, the Warriors used a 12-yard pass to Tyce Lee to reach the B-H 33. That drive stalled and the Bears responded with a 10-play drive. UNC’s defense stopped Cody Shamp on fourth-and-4 as the Warriors took over at their own 3.
B-H’s defense forced two runs for negative yardage before Ethan Wachlin sacked UNC quarterback Kolby Kiser in the end zone for a safety.
The Bears then took the ensuing kick and extended the lead to 16-0 on Bertram’s 34-yard TD run.
UNC had a scoring threat at the end of the first half as an 11-yard pass to Jonah Howard and a 21-yard run by Howard led to a first down at the B-H 8. That drive stalled when the Warriors were stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 4.
The Warriors created a break to start the second half when Logan Torma recovered a fumble at the B-H 17. Howard followed a 12-yard gain with a 4-yard TD run and ran in the conversion as UNC trailed 16-8.
B-H regained control by scoring on its next four possessions.
Perlinger rushed six times for 48 yards to set up a 6-yard TD run by Bertram, who ran in the conversion for a 24-8 advantage. That drive took 10 plays and covered 74 yards.
After forcing the Warriors to punt, B-H marched 82 yards in eight plays to pad the lead. Perlinger rushed five times for 31 yards and Hegarty contributed a 30-yard run to set up a 12-yard TD run by Bertram. That extended the Bears’ advantage to 30-8.
Hegarty intercepted a pass on UNC’s next series and B-H capitalized on the turnover when Perlinger scored on a 2-yard TD run. Bertram’s 4-yard gain on fourth-and-2 and Perlinger’s 33-yard run to the 2 were the key plays in that nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive as the Bears led 38-8.
Hank Tellers’ 41-yard kickoff return gave the Warriors possession at midfield. Kiser hit Howard on an 18-yard route before finding Eion Ness on a 32-yard scoring play. Howard ran in the conversion as UNC trailed 38-16.
B-H recovered the onside kick at the UNC 48 and used an 11-yard run by Carter Perlinger and 29-yard gain by Bertram to set up a 1-yard TD plunge by Dawson Perlinger, who caught the conversion to conclude the scoring. That drive took six plays.
Victor Aho caught a 38-yard pass, but the Warriors were forced to punt before a 10-yard reception by Shawn Hendrickson and a 12-yard reception by Collin Olson led the UNC to the B-H 15 when time expired.
Bertha-Hewitt rushed for 450 yards in the game with Carter Perlinger gaining 191 yards on 27 carries and Bertram adding 181 yards on 22 attempts. The Bears, who didn’t attempt a pass, improved to 4-4.
Howard led the Warriors’ offensive attack by rushing 21 times for 88 yards and catching two passes for 30 yards. Kiser completed 5 of 20 passes for 112 yards and Brock Berttunen completed 2 of 4 passes for 22 yards as the Warriors finished with 242 yards in offense.
Defensively, Howard made 16 tackles, Ness was in on 14 tackles and Brandon Miller was in on 13 tackles as the Warriors ended the regular season with a 2-6 record.