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Bruins prepped for Foothill on senior night

Bruins quarterback Dillon Smith escapes the Lincoln pass rush during a game Friday at Bear River.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

The Bear River Bruins football squad (7-2 overall, 2-2 Pioneer Valley League) hosts Foothill (1-8, 0-4 PVL) today in what will likely be its final home game of the year.

“Unless the planets align in the solar system and a couple of other teams pull off upsets, we’ll be on the road,” said co-head coach Scott Savoie.

The Bruins won 24-14 last week over Lincoln in their homecoming game to clinch a playoff berth but still sit two games behind undefeated Pioneer Valley League division leaders Placer and Center. This week features a much different theme — senior night.



“It’s going to be special night for players and parents and family,” said Savoie.

The Bruins have 23 seniors on their roster, and all of them will be getting some playing time Friday night, said Savoie. The team’s senior cheerleaders, water girls and other staff will also be commemorated.




Bear River is the clear favorite to win, which hasn’t been the case much this season, especially with a tough Pioneer Valley League stretch against Colfax, Placer, Center and Lincoln.

Even so, the Bruins aren’t taking tonight’s game lightly.

“Foothill isn’t your stereotypical 1-8 team. They‘re dangerous,” said Savoie. “We just showed our guys the game film of Foothill trailing Colfax 35-34 with four minutes to play in the game. They had a coaching change in the middle of the season, which most likely disrupted some things.”

Foothill has been outscored 413-161 this year with their only win coming against Natomas, which remains winless at 0-9.

Last week the Mustangs were pummeled by Center, 68-7, in a game where they fumbled four times and threw three interceptions. They allowed 54 of those 68 points in the first half. Their defense surrenders 45.8 points per game, and the offense averages 17.9 points per game.

Senior quarterback David Carter has thrown for 749 yards, eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Senior Dillon Paris leads the team in rushing with 656 yards and six touchdowns.

Last year, the Bruins defeated the Mustangs 49-34 in a game where they lost their senior quarterback to a concussion in the second quarter after racking up three touchdowns. The Bruins passed for 157 yards and rushed for 326 yards with Andrew Reiss Jr. leading the way in a 100-yard effort.

Bear River’s defense allowed 171 yards passing and 319 yards on the ground but forced three fumbles and pulled in one interception.

“The most important thing that we would like to do is pull out a great win for our seniors,” Savoie said. “We’re also playing for pride. It’s senior night on our home field, and 8-2 sounds a lot better than 7-3. This isn’t a week off. We want to build our confidence and get things going headed into the playoffs.”

Bear River is averaging 139.8 yards rushing and 157.9 passing per game.

Quarterback Dillon Smith has completed 56 percent of his passes for 1,157 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Running back Austin Dowling moved up to become the Bruin’s second leading rusher behind Michael Raigoza with 294 yards after last week’s 85-yard performance. Dowling also picked up his first touchdown run of the season. Tevyn Kimble still leads all receivers with 632 yards and three touchdowns.

Cody Heard, J’Sean Harwood and Jake Savoie lead the team in sacks with Heard setting the bar at nine and Hardwood and Savoie following at seven. The defense is now averaging four sacks per game after wrapping up Lincoln five times last week. Bear River’s opponents have averaged 19.1 points per game.

To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, email bshepard@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4234.


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