The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022

Bryan crushes Cougars 69-31 in opener

DAVE MOSIER/independent sports

BRYAN — It used to be that Van Wert loved playing the Bryan Golden Bears, since it was usually an easy “W” for the Cougars’ record each year. Not any more.

Bryan scored eight touchdowns and compiled 541 yards of total offense en route to a 69-31 victory over the Cougars in both teams’ football opener

Van Wert senior Terrance Branson finds running room against Bryan in last night's season opener. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)
Van Wert senior Terrance Branson finds running room against Bryan in last night’s season opener. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

The Golden Bears scored four times before Van Wert even got on the scoreboard. The scoring began with a 1-yard run by Bryan quarterback Austin Schimmoeller with just 49 ticks off the scoreboard, at 11:11 of the first quarter. Andy Rupp kicked the point-after for a 7-0 Golden Bear lead. The TD was the first of three for Bryan in the first stanza.

The second was on an 11-yard pass from Schimmoeller to Daniel Pendergrast at 4:40 in the period, while the final score of the opening quarter came at 2:32 when Schimmoeller found Brandon Poncsak for a 50-yard scoring strike. Rupp kicked both PATs for a 21-0 Bryan lead.

In the second quarter, Bryan scored first with 11:09 left in the quarter when Schimmoeller found Poncsak again for a 22-yard touchdown.

The Cougars then got on the scoreboard on a 29-yard pass from quarterback Colin Smith to Terrance Branson, who was involved in all four Van Wert touchdowns, with 9:17 remaining in the quarter. Gavin Gardner kicked the PAT and the Cougars trailed, 28-7.

Bryan retaliated with a 38-yard run by Schimmoeller with 7:08 left in the half for a 35-7 lead, but Van Wert added another TD when Branson broke away for a 65-yard run 18 seconds later and the Cougars were behind 35-14.

The second-quarter scoring wasn’t over yet, though, as the Golden Bears lit up the scoreboard one more time as Schimmoeller connected with Dakota McNany for a 39-yard TD pass at 1:35 left on the clock. The PAT kick was wide and Bryan was up 48-13 at the half.

Bryan opened the third quarter with a 1-yard pass from Schimmoeller to Travis Peters with 10:08 left in the period.

Justice Tussing (20) and Jacob Braun (64) close in on Bryan quarterback Austin Schimmoeller during Friday's opener at Bryan. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)
Justice Tussing (20) and Jacob Braun (64) close in on Bryan quarterback Austin Schimmoeller during Friday’s opener at Bryan. (Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent)

The Golden Bears again scored at the 6:29 mark when Pengergast ran 12 yards to paydirt to put Bryan up 62-13.

The Cougars scored the next two touchdowns on a 63-yard pass from Smith to Branson with 5:16 remaining in the quarter and a 20-yard pass from Smith to Branson with 32.4 seconds left.

That should have been the end of third-quarter scoring, but a Van Wert miscue allowed the Golden Bears to score one more time, this one on a 5-yard run by Poncsak. Josh Johns kicked this point-after attempt and Bryan was up by 42 points, 69-27.

The Cougar defense got the remaining four points on two safeties in the fourth quarter.

Van Wert compiled 342 yards in the game, 115 on the ground and 227 through the air, while Smith, a sophomore, was 10 of 22 passing for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, the young quarterback also threw three picks, several of which led to Bryan scores. Another sophomore, Drew Myers, was 4 of 9 passing for 21 yards and one interception.

Schimmoeller was Bryan’s only quarterback, and he was 17 of 25 for 362 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.

Leading receiver on the night was Branson, who caught three passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns. Branson also was the Cougars’ top rusher with 65 yards and a touchdown on three carries.

Pendergrast was Bryan’s top rusher, with 99 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Schimmoeller compiled 53 yards and two TDs on eight carries.

Pendergrast was also the Golden Bears’ top receiver, with 86 yards and a touchdown on six catches. Poncsak had one catch for 50 yards and a TD.

VW vs Bryan football stats 2013

POSTED: 08/31/13 at 8:25 am. FILED UNDER: Sports