Bruins pound Placer, remain undefeated in league
AUBURN ” Nailing down their third straight win of the season, and moving
to 2-0 in Pioneer Valley League play, Bear River’s Bruins headed back up
Highway 49 Friday night with a 27-6 win over host Placer.
The Bruins (4-2 overall) dominated throughout the first half, building a
20-0 margin as senior quarterback/halfback/ safety C.J. Crausby ran for
115 yards and three touchdowns before halftime.
“That’s a typical Bear River team,” said Placer head coach Mike Sabins,
whose Hillmen fell to 3-3 on the season and 1-1 in the PVL. “On offense
they run the ball hard and on defense they swarm to the ball.”
The Bruin defense kept the hosts off the scoreboard until the fourth
quarter and aside from the Hillmen’s late comeback attempt, kept Placer in
While Placer quarterback Charlie Harrison threw for 109 yards, his Hillmen
backfield managed a mere 69 rushing yards on 34 attempts.
After Placer pulled to within 20-6 late in the game, it was the Bear River
defense that slammed the door shut on the Hillmen. Junior linebacker Matt
Belnap picked off a Harrison pass in Bruin territory and returned the
interception 63 yards for the final score with 33 seconds remaining.
“After I got it, I cut to the outside and I thought maybe I’d be caught by
the first guy and I almost fell with the second guy, but then I had only
the end zone the rest of the way,” said Belnap, who has three
interceptions on the season, including two returned for touchdowns. “We
came out great in the first half, but in the second half I thought we came
out kind of flat.
“But we made some good stops. I think we did a pretty good job tonight.”
Offensively, Bear River set the tone on the Bruins’ first drive of the
game. Twice the Bruins faced fourth-and-short situations and on both
occasions, Bear River came up with first downs to keep the ball moving.
On fourth-and-2 at the Placer 44, Gary Schmidt dove behind his linemen to
pick up the first down by the nose of the ball. On fourth-and-goal at the
Placer 2-yard line, Crausby kept the ball out of shotgun formation and
plowed into the end zone for the first score of the game.
“Absolutely, that set the tone,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott
Savoie. “Sometimes you just have to lay it out there and go for it. It was
early in the game and it was at midfield, the first time, and we took a
shot and it paid off.
“Of course we took a shot in the fourth quarter and it didn’t work out.
Sometimes you get it and you get your name in the paper and sometimes you
don’t and you feel like an idiot, like I did in the fourth quarter.”
The shot the Bruins took in the fourth quarter came on fourth-and-1 at the
50, where Placer held tough with nearly nine minutes remaining the game
and the Bruins leading 20-0.
After turning the ball over on downs, Bear River couldn’t stop the Hillmen
from heading 51 yards downfield for their first score of the game.
But after Dallas Scott hit paydirt on fourth-and-goal from the Bruin 1,
the point-after touchdown attempt by Keith Culley failed ” as did Placer’s
ensuing attempt at an onside kick, which was recovered by Bruin senior
wide receiver Lars Nielsen.
On the night, the Bruins rushed for 210 yards on 41 carries. In addition
to Crausby’s 119 yards on 15 carries, Schmidt rushed for 18 yards on five
carries, Andy Parquette added 23 yards on 11 rushes and Hunter Tanquary
had 21 yards on three runs.
Placer was led by Ross Moskwa’s 51 yards on 16 carries.
Belnap led Bear River in tackles with 18 total, including eight solo stops.
Mitchell Miltano had 13 tackles, including six solo, while Axel Wadman had
14 tackles (four solo) and an interception. Jon Duckett also had an
interception, while Joel Davis finished with two quarterback sacks.
“We’re going to celebrate this one. It’s a great win. We beat a good
football team tonight,” said Savoie, who then reflected for a moment on
how well the team has progressed since its first preseason practices.
Returning only five players with varsity experience, Savoie said the
Bruins have made strides each week, from a 1-2 start to their current 4-2
“They’ve come a long ways,” he said. “But we’ve still got a long ways to
The next stop on that journey is a home date with PVL foe Mesa Verde next
Bear River 27, Placer 6
BR (4-2) 14 6 0 7 ” 27
P (3-3) 0 0 0 6 ” 6
BR ” C.J. Crausby 2 run (Kick failed), 3:59
BR ” Crausby 10 run (Axel Wadman pass from Crausby), 1:45
BR ” Crausby 5 run (Kick failed), 5:04
P ” Dallas Scott 1 run (Kick failed), 4:31
BR ” Matt Belnap 62 interception return (Jared Murnan kick), :33
First downs 12 9
Rushes-yards 41-210 34-69
Passing 43 109
Comp-Att-Int 4-9-1 9-19-3
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties 8-60 3-30
Rushing “Bear River, Crausby 15-119, Andy Parquette 11-23, Gary Schmidt
5-18, Wadman 2-10, Hunter Tanquary 3-21, David Richey 5-19. Placer, Ross
Moskwa 16-51, Scott 6-5, Bobby Classon 7-24, Joey Jacinto 1-(minus 2),
Charlie Harrison 3-(minus 13), Aaron Heffernan1-4.
Passing ” Bear River, Crausby 4-9-1 for 43 yards. Placer, Harrison 9-19-3
for 109 yards.
Receiving ” Bear River, Tanquary 1-4, Wadman 2-24, Lars Nielsen 1-15.
Placer, Keith Culley 3-59, Adam Fry 2-17, Heffernan 2-16, John Kok 1-7,
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