What a rivalry game it was — the battle of the unbeatens lived up to all its expectations as the Falcons swooped into their rivals’ territory and came away with 28-21 victory over the Bruins Friday night at J. David Rasmey Field.
“It was a fantastic game,” said Colfax head coach Tony Martello. “We prepared well for Bear River. They’re a great team. Our guys stepped up, and we put together drives when we needed to.”
The Falcons certainly responded well to the pressure and dug deep when it mattered most. Senior quarterback Michael Wilson led his team down the field 84 yards in a scoring drive that took 3 minutes, 4 seconds and left Bear River only 1:43 to try to square things back up. Running back Tim Rawlins scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown when he jetted into the end zone from 20 yards out untouched. He finished with 21 carries for 103 yards and one touchdown. Wilson didn’t break the 300-yard mark, but he came close, finishing 20-of-36 for 287 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
“That was a championship-level game right there,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “Two evenly matched teams freakin’ got after it. So many things could have happened. I thought we were well prepared — just came up short. I was hoping for OT. I’m proud of our kids, but you have to hand it to the Falcons.”
Earlier during Colfax’s winning drive, Wilson also completed a 23-yard pass to Chris Harshaman on a third-and-15 backed up at the Falcons’ own 16-yard line. Had that play not occurred, a very different outcome could easy have taken place. That play gave Colfax the boost it needed to build momentum as it pushed through the Bruin defense in the final minutes. Bear River had one last crack at it, but turned over the ball over on downs at midfield, where the Falcons would kneel to victory.
“We can feel sorry for ourselves for 48 hours, then we have to get back to work,” said Bruins co-head coach Terry Logue. “It absolutely was an unbelievable effort tonight. (Colfax) is a hell of a team. They won the game. After they completed that third-and-15 for a first down — we played our butts off. They just made a couple more plays.”
It was a seesaw battle throughout the night with Bear River knotting the game up 21-21 on a 21-yard pass from Braden Duncan to Kris Edie on third-and-15 with just 4 minutes, 47 seconds to play. Bear River had held the lead twice earlier, once 7-0 after Botsford rumbled into the end zone from 13 yards out on a screen pass and again 14-7 after he bulldozed for a 4-yard score before halftime. Botsford led the running attack for Bear River, which excelled greatly at times, and he ended with 15 touches for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Caleb Johnson also played with his shaky broken collarbone and ran eight times for 25 yards — a true testament to how much this game meant to all the players.
Colfax would rise to the occasion and answer the call. Wilson found reciver Marcus Jackson on a 4-yard fade route to the back corner of the end zone on third-and-goal to tie the game at 7-7. The play was considered somewhat controversial as Jackson came close to being out of bounds. Wilson also found Chas Reisinger for an 18-yard score to tie the game once again at 14-14. Wilson’s hot hand continued in the fourth quarter when he hooked up with Chris Harshman to put his team up 21-14. His biggest target was senior Kyle Bryant who hauled in 10 cataches for 141 yards, and Harshman was a close second with seven grabs for 122 yards. On defense, Alex Nevarez would grab a pick.
For the Bruins, Duncan finished 9-of-22 passing for 149 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, his first of the season. Edie led receivers with two receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, David Chorjel was the leader the team needed him to be. He wrapped up 13 tackles, and John Voter III added 11 more. Edie and Michael Tipton both came up with interceptions, and Garrett Ramsour had a fumble recovery, but the three turnovers weren’t enough to overcome the Falcons.
Defensively, Bear River made a lot stops and actually quieted Wilson for periods of time, but eventually, it was the Falcons’ running game that broke through. The Bruins held the Falcons to just 30 yards on the ground in the first half, but junior half back Rawlins kicked it up a notch down the stretch and finished with an impressive 20-yard score, slicing his way upfield to give his team the lead.
The Falcons’ PVL road adventures continue next week when they travel to take on Center while Bear River (5-1) will close out its 2013 homestand against Placer.
JV: Bear River 48, Colfax 0
In the prelude to Friday’s main event, the Bruins’ junior varsity squad destroyed Colfax 48-0 led by quarterback Jason voter who had a stellar performance to finish 6-of-7 passing for 164 yards with four touchdowns.
The Falcons hopes were dashed early in this one as the Bruins exploded for 28 points in the second quarter to take a 34-0 lead into the locker room. David Mastrella was unstoppable out of the backfield for Bear River and carried the ball five times for 126 yards and two touchdowns, an 84-yarder and and another from 29 out. Kyle Uclaray played a key role too with five rushes for 53 yards and an 11-yard score. Adding more points to the party and making some noise on offense were Nichols with a 10-yard touchdown grab, Dallas Penn with a 32-yard touchdown catch, Conner Hollister with a 56-yard touchdown reception and Uclaray once again, who took a 59-yard pass to the house.
On the defensive side of the ball Bear River couldn’t have done more as it protected its home turf and kept the Falcons off the scoreboard all game. RJ Rogers led the team with eight tackles and a sack. Hollister chipped in three tackles and also recovered a fumble.
To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4234.