BERWICK — Junior quarterback Bobby Boudreaux had heard all of the talk about how Berwick wasn’t good and more importantly, how they would not get a win.
He said the anger of hearing such things for weeks had built up.
On Thursday night, Berwick finally let it out, and in the process, snapped a 20-game losing streak as the squad beat Hanson Memorial, 32-14, in Berwick.
“Throughout the weeks, it (anger) just kept building up and building up and finally tonight, we just threw it all out there and went all out and did everything right and played as a team,” said Boudreaux, who led the Berwick offense with 136 rushing yards and a score on 16 carries. “You can’t do much better than that.”
The win was Berwick’s first since a 27-14 victory against Hanson on the road Oct. 1, 2010.
Beginning the following week with a 70-67 loss to Franklin on the road, the Panthers hadn't won a game since.
Thursday’s victory also was the first at BHS for Coach Craig Brodie Sr., now in his second year with the program.
“We don’t know how to act right now,” a smiling Brodie said after the game. “We had to (field) an onside kick and get in victory formation, and we hadn’t had a chance to do that in a while so it feels great.”
When asked how it was to end the 20-game skid, which he was made aware of by The Daily Review earlier this week, Brodie acted as if he was unaware of the streak.
“Is that what it was?” he asked. “I know it was (at least) 15 because that’s what I’ve been involved in, but I hope this is one of many to come for these kids. We started last year and went through a rough season and (we were) having another one this year, but I think the future’s bright.”
Berwick (1-5 overall, 0-3 in District 9-3A) received solid play in all three phases of the game as its offense churned out 280 total yards, including 268 of those on the ground.
While the Panthers’ defense surrendered 301 yards of total offense — including 268 rushing — to Hanson, they made plays, including the first big play of the game with a fumble recovery to set up the squad’s first score. The Panthers’ defense recovered a fumbles later in the game and also intercepted Hanson quarterback Drake Rodriguez twice.
Even the Berwick special teams’ got in on the act as placekicker Brooks Richard connected on a 23-yard field goal, Luis Hernandez returned the second half-kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown, and later in the third quarter, the squad blocked a second-half punt by Hanson’s Royce Norton.
“Before the game we just mentally prepared … You could just tell it was a different atmosphere than before, and we came out and we just played,” Berwick linebacker V.C. Caruso said. “We played as a team (and) as one and it felt good. … I’m proud of my team.”
After Berwick’s Kyle Riggins recovered a Hanson fumble at the Panther 46 following a high snap to Hanson quarterback Drake Rodgriguez, the Panthers went to work quickly, moving 55 yards in five plays capped by a Boudreaux 18-yard run.
Richard took a direct snap on the two-point conversion and converted the two-point run for an 8-0 Panthers’ lead.
Hanson scored its lone first-half touchdown two plays into the second quarter on a Norton five-yard run with 11:29 left in the second quarter. The big-play that set up the touchdown was a Norton pass to Beau LeBlanc after Norton had received a pass from Rodriguez.
However, Berwick would close the half with scores on three straight possessions as Raheem Colar scored on a two-yard run with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter, Hernandez on a 5-yard run with 2:40 remaining in the half and a Richard 23-yard field goal as the final seconds ticked off the clock in the first half clock.
Berwick continued its scoring onslaught with a 76-yard kickoff return to begin the third quarter for a commanding 32-8 Berwick advantage with 11:46 remaining in the third quarter.
“I think we matched up physically well with them,” Brodie said. “They’ve had some key injuries at quarterback, and I had nine guys on the sideline. I had a bunch of starters (that) didn’t play. It was a great team thing. Everybody stepped up and played hard.”
Hanson added a fourth-quarter score with 3:17 remaining on a Collin Broussard 51-yard run. Broussard was a thorn in Berwick’s side with his power running. Norton’s two-point run was no good for the final.
Brodie said the win was good for his squad’s confidence as it continues its season.
“That’s very important,” Brodie said. “Who knows what’s going to happen the rest of the season? … I’m excited about the rest of the season.”
Berwick will return to action Oct. 19 when it resumes District 9-3A play on the road against Kaplan.