If it wasn’t the full moon overhead in the October night sky or something in the Gatorade cooler, then it was most certainly was the overwhelming talent the Hillmen unleashed against Bear River that led them to a 49-7 rout of the Bruins Friday at J. David Ramsey Field.
“It was one of those nights where anything and everything that could go wrong did,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “We couldn’t stop them, we went three-and-out, fumbles, penalties — I’d sure like to start over, but we have to live with the facts. We got outplayed tonight big time.”
At the half, the Bruins trailed 35-7 and Placer had already racked up 265 yards rushing and 99 more through the air. For the game, Placer amassed 559 yards of total offense with 463 coming on the ground, which is more than 100 yards above the team’s average. Its 39 carries averaged 11.9 yards per rush.
“(Placer) kicked our butt,” said Bruins co-head coach Terry Logue. “Their kids came out fired up, and we didn’t respond. I take the blame on defense. Whatever it was we were doing wasn’t working. They didn’t run anything we weren’t expecting. Give them a lot of credit.”
Bear River trailed start to finish and scored only once, in the first quarter, to pull back within a touchdown when senior full back Brad Botsford rumbled in from 14 yards out. After that, it was all Hillmen all of the time.
Placer’s senior full back Cameron Scott got things rolling early as he scored twice in the games first five minutes. His touchdown runs came from 13 yards and 22 and he would finish the evening with 12 touches for 72 yards.
After forcing the Bruins to go three-and-out, the Hillmen’s offense just kept on delivering blow after blow as their next touchdown came on a 2-yard run by junior running back Cole Blackwell. The drive took only four plays and began at the Bear River 38 after the Bruins were forced to punt backed up from their own goal line. Blackwell finished with eight rushes for 90 yards.
Bear River struggled mightily on offense and couldn’t put the pieces together with any sort of rhythm with the exception of its one scoring drive. Even on that series Bear River had a little help with a personal foul by Placer, but the Bruins did pull off a nifty double-pass play to pick up 22 yards. Senior quarterback Braden Duncan threw just 5-of-15 for 30 yards and a pick before being relieved by junior Austin Smith in the second half. Smith completed 5-of-11 passes for 71 yards. Kris Edie led the Bruin receivers with five catches for 55 yards. Caleb Johnson led the Bruins in rushing with 11 carries for 105 yards as Botsford spent the second half on the sideline nursing an injury.
“I think (Botsford) will be fine,” Logue said. “He’s just dinged up a bit.”
Another Bruin three-and-out led to a quick score by Placer when senior Todd Valliere hooked up with junior wide receiver Frankie O’Neal 60 yards for a score on the first play of the series. Valliere, the team’s leading rusher, didn’t have to work too hard because everyone else was contributing. He still finished with 11 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns dashing into the end zone from 36 yards out to put his team up 35-7 at the half and later from 14 yards.
Defensively Bear River was fooled time and time again. The Hillmen hit the edge fast and turned it up field before a defender could even lay a hand on them. Placer also ran effectively inside and with its quick tempo style. Bear River had a hard time making the right adjustments. John Voter III led all tacklers with nine and a sack. Kyle Krogman and David Chorjel would finish with seven and six tackles respectively.
Just when the game finally seemed to be slowing down Placer’s Austin Le Bleu sliced up the Bruins’ defense and went the distance 91-yards to make it 49 points for the Hillmen. Also contributing to the Placer offense was running back Austin Hess who had six carries for 84 yards. Defensive back Bart Every also chipped in with an interception.
“We can only blame ourselves,” added Savoie. “You win as a team and you lose as a team. The Bruins have to bounce back here — lost a heartbreaker and got our butts kicked tonight. Now we have to finish on the road here. Life doesn’t get any easier.”
The Bruins still need to win two PVL games to keep their playoffs hopes alive and they begin a three-week road stint to close out the regular season beginning next week at Center.
JV: Bear River 35, Placer 14
Trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, the Bruins roared back to light up the scoreboard with 35 unanswered points to stun Placer.
A Bear River goal-line stand right before halftime gave the Bruins all the momentum they would need as running back Kyle Uclaray ran all over the Hillmen to finish with 21 carries for 200 yards and three touchdowns. His scores came from 1, 12 and 50 yards. David Mastrella added a score on the ground from 11 yards out, and David O’Brien sealed the game with a 36-yard scamper to complete the team’s 21-point third quarter. Dallas Penn contributed with two receptions for 49 yards as quarterback Jason Voter had another phenomenal performance, completing 6-of-7 passes for 67 yards.
On defense, Uclaray and Conner Hollister each wrapped up a sack, and O’Brien led the team in tackles with eight. He would also haul in an interception later in the fourth quarter to keep Placer scoreless in the second half. Bear River is now 2-0 in PVL play.
To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call 530-477-4234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.