The Hancock Owls opened their 2009 season by traveling to Bertha to take on the Bertha-Hewitt Bears. The Owls fell in defeat 34 -14 to the opportunistic Bears. The first quarter began with both teams testing one another offensively and defensively. Bertha-Hewitt would be the first to gain an advantage as the Owls turned over the ball on an interception. The Bears took their next possession and scored on a 21-yard touchdown run, with a successful two point conversion the score stood at 8-0. The Owls' Cory Schroeder recovered a Bear fumble, but the Owls couldn't take advantage.
The second quarter was where the Bears would come to control the game. Just as the quarter began, Bertha-Hewitt raced 52-yards through a diving Owls defense for their second score of the game. The Bears again added a two point conversion and the score stood at 16-0. The Owls would get their first break later in the quarter when Bertha-Hewitt muff eda punt attempt allowing the Owls to take over on the Bear 14 yard line. The Owls momentum would be short lived though as Hancock threw their second interception of the night. Bertha-Hewitt returned the pick 90 yards for their third touchdown of the night. The PAT kick failed and the score stood at 22-0. The Bears scored again on a 61 yard touchdown pass to drive the score to 28-0 as the two point conversion failed.
The Owls offense was beginning to hit its stride as the second quarter was winding down. A third Owl interception stalled a long drive on the Bears 15 yard line. Bertha-Hewitt couldn't gain a first down and Hancock would get one last drive before halftime. Once again the Owls drove the ball down to the Bears goal line, but couldn't score as the half ended.
The Bears would open the scoring in the third quarter on a seven yard touchdown run. The Owls stopped the two point conversion and the score stood at 34-0. The third quarter would see improved efforts from both the Owls offense and defense. Quarterback Austin Steege completed a 45-yard pass to Brendon Foss to put the Owls on the board. Following a successful PAT kick by Michells Algarate, the scored was 34-7.
The Owls defense kept Bertha-Hewitt scoreless for the remainder of the game. The Owls added the last score early in the fourth quarter as quarterback Mark Schaefer completed a 70-yard touchdown pass to Brendon Foss. Another successful PAT kick by Michells Algarate made the score 34 -14, which would be the final.
Head Coach Matthew Hone commented that both the offense and defense had their bright spots, but there is room for improvement. "Better tackling technique and increased offensive familiarity will be the focus for the coming week," reflected Hone. Bertha- Hewitt moves to 1-0 as the Owls fall to 0-1 on the new season. The Owls will have their home opener September 11 with Wheaton at 7 p.m.