Absolute dominance is what the Bear River football team (8-2, 3-2 Pionner Valley League) brought out of the locker room Friday, senior night, in a game that was all but over at the half as the Bruins obliterated Foothill, 42-13.
The win moves the Bruins into the ranks of some stiff competition as they now await the release of the Sac-Joaquin Division-IV playoff bracket today.
“I’m very happy for the guys that have been practicing hard and got out there tonight,” said co-head coach Terry Logue. “You all got to come to work Monday with your overalls and your lunch pail.”
The Bruins built a 42-7 lead at the half, scoring on all six of their offensive drives. Twenty-one points lit up the scoreboard in the first quarter followed by 21 more in the second. Michael Tipton scored the first points of the night with a 13-yard run.
The only touchdown Bear River allowed in the first half was 38-yard run by Dillon Paris to tie the game 7-7, but after that they settled down and pulled away. The very next play from scrimmage Caleb Johnson broke one loose good for a 60-yard sprint into the end zone. Johnson finished the night with four rushes for 106 yards.
Quarterback Dillon Smith was 7-of-8 passing for 144 yards and two touchdowns, both to Tevyn Kimble who had a stellar performance with six catches for 106 yards.
The scores came midway through the second quarter on back to back possessions, stretching the lead to 35-7. On the ensuing kickoff Bear River’s Cameron Barrios forced a fumble on the return, and Kris Edie was there for the recovery.
“It felt pretty good,” said senior running back John McGuire after running over a defensive back at the line of scrimmage. McGuire had a 13-yard run to set up the Bruins with a first and goal before Michael Raigoza broke through for the score before halftime.
Bear River’s defense looked tremendous, holding the Mustangs to just 201 yards of total offense on the night. Foothill’s only score of the second half came on a 10-yard run by Paris after the Bruins fumbled at their own 18-yard line. The Mustangs were stuck in neutral for most of the night with five of their nine offensive possessions failing to exceed 10 yards. Their final drive of the first half was stopped short at the Bruin’s three-yard line.
Zach Winter wrapped up 10 tackles with two that went for a loss. Brad Botsford added four tackles and a sack. Jerry Fuhrman also chipped in five tackles with one going for a loss.
In the second half, Bear River was able to rest some of their key starters and give their subs a lot more playing time. Everyone seemed more than pleased with the effort and the result.
Austin Dowling took the night off with an ankle injury, and J’Sean Harwood also rested up after showing symptoms of a minor concussion.
“Great start, great finish,” co-head coach Savoie said. “We started the season with a six game winning streak. Now we’re on a streak of two. How long will it last? I like our chances.”
Now that the regular season is over the Bruins can begin to focus on the post season, which will likely have them begin their playoff run on the road.
“Tonight felt weird being our last home game,” said senior Cody Heard. “We kicked some tail. Now we get to go to the next level. It’s a new season.”
This momentum was welcomed and looks to get the wheels turning a little bit faster as Bear River prepares for what will be a tough battle next week.
“We’re feeling good, going in on a roll,” said Raigoza who scored on an 11-yard run.
Of course, being senior night in a game that didn’t mean much for the playoff picture, it sure was one the seniors will never forget.
“I haven’t played much. It felt good,” said junior Michael Tipton who finished the night with three carries good for 33 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
JV: Bear River 48, Foothill 8
Not to be outdone by the seniors, the Bruins JV squad (8-1-1, 5-0 PVL) slaughtered Foothill by 40 points to finish the season perfect in league play and earn the PVL Title.
Bear River led 35-0 at halftime and maintained complete control of the game until the finish. Quarterback Austin Smith completed 5-of-5 passes for 106 yards, including a 55 yard touchdown pass to Ryan Wagner. Smith also had two rushes for 31 yards.
Garret Ramsour steamrolled through the Mustangs defense rushing for 161 yards on just five carries and two touchdowns, one of which came on a 95-yard dash. Kyle Uclaray contributed 59 yards on seven carries with two touchdown runs, an eight yard score and a 23 yard score. Uclaray also stole the spotlight on special teams with a 60 yard punt return for a touchdown. Kyle Krogman also had three carries for 41 yards and a 1 yard plunge good for a score.
Defensively Conner Hollister wrapped up seven tackles and had a batted ball. Cade Mathews had five tackles, two of which went for a loss. Jason Voter had three tackles with one for a loss and also snagged an interception. Josh Davis also grabbed an interception as the JV Bruins secured the league championship.
To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call (530) 477-4234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org