Chances are six turnovers are too many for any team to overcome, as was the case for Bear River Friday night at Center in a 34-7 trouncing.
Bruins starting quarterback Braden Duncan was picked off four times, three of which were by the Cougars’ Tyrel Anderson, and the run offense also coughed it up twice to leave Center plenty of short-field opportunities. It was a another ugly loss in which the opposition just made the Bear River defense look foolish at times. Now the team must win its last two games if it has any hope of making the postseason.
“I thought our effort was very good tonight,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue. “Give credit to No. 7 (Anderson). Thrid-and-25, they just tell him to go and get the first down, and he runs for it — come on man. We had (Center) on third-, fourth-and-long all night and all the turnovers were just extra chances for them.”
The Cougars certainly capitalized on the Bruins’ mistakes. Despite the Bear River defense forcing Center into a lot of tough situations, the offense always found a way to move the chains. Senior quarterback Anderson was remarkable with his athleticism on both offense and defense. He finished 6-of-13 passing for 135 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Running the ball for the Cougars, senior Joe Swen powered through the Bear River defensive line for three touchdowns as he ended his night with 29 carries for 162 yards. Anderson added 48 more yards on the ground and kept drives alive in crucial moments. Sophomore Tobias Marshall wrapped up the second half for the Cougars, rushing 15 times for 44 yards.
The game didn’t feel entirely over until the fourth quarter when Center scored a pair of touchdowns just 26 seconds apart. Anderson found Kris Sutton on a 27-yard pass for a score on fourth-and-7, then on the very next play from scrimmage, Duncan was picked by Anderson, who gladly took his offense back out onto the field. Anderson handed off to Swen and he took it 27 yards for the touchdown to put the Cougars up 34-0.
“We played hard,” added Logue. “It’s just unfortunate we’re facing these physical fronts in league. We gave them field poisiton. No. 7 is a stud. It’s not any easier for us. Lincoln beat this team.”
The only Bruin score came on its final drive of the game, which began at the Bear River 1-yard line after it had stuffed Center on fourth-and-goal. Bear River only mustered 4 yards on a pair of runs, then it marched 95 more yards, led by quarterback Austin Smith, who completed a 40-yard pass to Michael Tipton and another 40-yarder to Hunter Cramer. Smith then ran 9 yards to set up first-and-goal before fullback David Chorjel got the Bruins on the scorebaord with a 6-yard score as he dove for the pylon with 23 seconds left to play.
Duncan finished the evening 9-of-24 passing for 97 yards with four interceptions. Cramer led the team in receiving with eight grabs for 103 yards and Chorjel filled in for Brad Botsford, rushing 12 times for 31 yards. Defensively, Chorjel led the charge with 16 tackles, followed by John Voter III with 14 and Cramer, who had 11. Josh Davis snatched an interception for Bear River’s only takeaway.
On the opening drive, Center’s Tianti Anderson was wide open for a 31-yard catch and score, and the team’s next two scores were provided courtesy of Swen. Bear River’s drives were 6 yards and a punt, minus-10 yards and a punt, 37 yards and a fumble, minus-3 yards and a punt, 13 yards and an interception, 0 yards and an interception, 41 yards and a turnover on downs, 6 yards and a punt, 31 yards and a pick, 0 yards and a pick, 1 yard and a fumble and 99 yards and a touchdown.
“It was a much better effort this week,” Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie said. “We kind of unraveled there at the end. Turnovers killed us. The effort and attitude was there. It was a step in the right direction with another road warrior game next week.”
Bear River (5-3, 0-3 PVL) travels to Lincoln in what will be a must-win game next week.
JV: Bear River 58, Center 6
The Bruins ripped right through the Cougars’ defense Friday night and piled up 58 points, scoring eight touchdowns in a dominating performance to improve to 3-0 in the PVL.
The offense was led by quarterback Jason Voter, who finished 4-of-4 passing for 126 yards with three touchdowns. His scoring tosses went to Kyle Uclaray for 60 yards, Dallas Penn for 11 yards and David Matrella for 53 yards. Running the ball for Bruins’ scores were Uclaray, Mastrella, Trenton Ruby and Talen Anderson. Uclaray finished with two touches for 45 yards and a 35-yard touchdown. Matrella also had two carries for 88 yards and an 84-yard sprint into the end zone. Ruby’s lone dash went for 39 yards and a score, and Anderson got the Bruins on the board one last time with a 35-yard run, cutting up the left side to put an exclamation point on the evening.
Bear River’s defense kept Center at bay until nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, when the Cougars scored their only touchdown. With a 43-0 lead at the half, it was all but over for Center. Conner Hollister had a team-high 11 tackles. Uclaray stung the Cougars on defense with a defensive touchdown for the Bruins as he grabbed an interception and took it 81 yards to the house. David O’Brien also had five tackles and an interception. Uclaray and Gunnar Simpson each chipped in four tackles with two going for a loss.
To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call 530-477-4234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.