HOBART | After Andrean was beaten 37-28 by Hobart on Friday, 59ers coach Phil Mason welcomed back Brickies football.
"I'm glad they're back," Mason said. "It says a lot for region football and our conference, so I'm glad that they're back."
That wasn't hard for Hobart senior Anthony Burgos to agree with. Burgos nabbed three turnovers, including a drive-ending interception to guarantee that Andrean couldn't make a comeback with 1:10 remaining in the game.
"It feels good to be back," Burgos said, "that's one thing: tradition, tradition, tradition. This community loves football. This is football around here and this is a football town. To start winning around here is exciting. You can feel it in the air."
Hobart took a 10-point lead in the second half behind an 88-yard kickoff return by Elijah Walker and a short field courtesy of a three-and-out on Andrean's next possession.
"We take a lot of pride in our special teams," Hobart coach Ryan Turley said. "Our special teams, it's a phase of the game we work a lot on and obviously that kickoff return for a touchdown swung the momentum our way."
Andrean took a 21-17 lead into halftime behind the scoring of quarterback Matt Desomer, who notched all three touchdowns in the first half.
Desomer rushed 48 yards on the second play of the game for a quick 7-0 lead, then scored by sneaking in twice from the 1-yard line.
Burgos made a pair of drive-stopping plays in the first quarter on a fumble recovery and an interception. He stripped the ball from Ramon Guerrero and ran 68 yards for a touchdown that tied the game at 7-7. On the next series, Burgos nabbed a pass from Desomer.
"He's an amazing player and Anthony's had a good year all year," Turley said. "He's been our vocal leader off the field and our leader on the field."
Andrean took advantage of the holes it found in the first half to stay alive. Desomer threw for a combined 70 yards on his first two passes and the 59ers ran for more than 10 yards in a single play seven times, amassing 11 first downs.
In the second half, those big plays weren't always found. Desomer had four incomplete passes in the second half -- he missed three in the first half -- and the Niners were sacked, tackled for losses and held to the line of scrimmage.
Meanwhile, Hobart kept plucking away. When the Brickies needed to eat clock in the fourth quarter, they took over on their own 27-yard line with 8:18 remaining and didn't even try to pass, trudging the ball downfield until Aaron Del Grosso hit a 50-yard field goal with 2:16 remaining in the game.
Hobart last beat Andrean in 2008, when the game was played at Portage because the Brickie Bowl had flooded. In their last three wins, the 59ers have outscored the Brickies 123-35.
"We have to establish home-field advantage and what other teams need to know when they come in here is that they're playing the Hobart Brickies," Turley said.