While Evergreen was guilty of a fumble and three interceptions on an inclement weather night, Bryan’s Nate Miller thrived on the rainy, cold season finale at Pifer Field going 21 of 27 in the air for 350 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Golden Bears into the Division IV playoffs with a 41-7 win over the Vikings.
Bryan got on the board early after Bryce Hudik’s fake punt run was stopped at the Evergreen 20.
A fourth down pass to Austin Dean from the 12 set up Tyler James’ one-yard scoring run at the 7:28 mark of the first, giving Bryan a 7-0 lead.
The game stayed that way until into the second quarter when a short punt gave the Bears possession at the Viking 49.
Ten plays later, Miller found Titus Rohrer from 16 yards out to put the Bears up two scores with 9:22 left in the first half.
It took Evergreen just two plays after the kickoff to answer as Hunter Vanwert broke a pair of tackles and bolted 64 yards to paydirt to cut the Bryan lead in half.
After a Bryan punt, Evergreen had a chance to knot the score, using a Jack Krispin catch for a first down and Vanwert’s 21-yard burst to get near the red zone, but the Vikings went four and out from there.
Miller found Rohrer for 24, Drew Peters on a checkdown for 37, and Brycen Andrews for 16 more to set up James’ three yard TD run.
On the ensuing possession a Jack Etue pass bounced off Hudik’s chest and was picked by Kanon Lamberson. Two plays later, Miller hooked up with Rohrer for a 28-yard score to make it 28-7.
Four Vanwert runs and Etue’s first down pass to Chandler Lumbrezer again got Evergreen deep into Bryan territory but Konnor Arthur picked off an Etue aerial to end that threat.
Miller opened the second half with a 64-yard strike to Andrews on the second play to put the Bears ahead 35-7, and later after a Viking fumble, he hit Adam Fireovid for a 35-yard touchdown strike to finish off scoring.
The Vikings allowed the Bears only 36 yards on 24 carries on the ground, while Vanwert ran for 203 to account for much of the Vikings offense.
The Vikings, after starting the season 4-2, finished at 4-6, while the Bears go into the playoffs with a record of 7-3.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org