Bruins win big
Bear River will be playing for a playoff spot next week.
After beating Mesa Verde 34-7 at Bear River on Friday night, the Bruins (5-2 overall, 3-0 Pioneer Valley League) moved into a three-way tie with Colfax and Lincoln for first place in the PVL.
Lincoln remained undefeated in league play by shutting out Placer 19-0 on Friday.
Next Friday, Bear River heads to Lincoln for a game that will give the victor a spot in the postseason. Both the Bruins and the Fighting Zebras have yet to play Colfax. A loss next Friday, though, does not eliminate either team from playoff contention.
On Friday, Gary Schmidt powered Bear River early for its fourth-consecutive win.
Schmidt, who totaled 7 yards on five carries, scored the Bruins’ first three touchdowns. On Bear River’s first possession, Schmidt carried the ball 1 yard to paydirt, followed by a 2-yard run for six points late in the first quarter and another 2-yard score early in the second quarter.
“I just like to know that my team can count on me,” the junior fullback said.
The Bruins finished their scoring before Mesa Verde got on the board.
Starting quarterback C.J. Crausby lined up in the backfield and took a handoff from backup quarterback Drew Loftus for a 9-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter. Bear River used Crausby frequently as a running back, where he totaled a team-high 95 yards on eight carries. He completed 3-of-5 passes for 87 yards.
Matt Belnap’s 19-yard touchdown run completed a second-half opening drive, giving the Bruins a 34-0 edge.
The Mavericks finally scored with 5 minutes, 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter, when Jake Warner connected with Greg Fulks for a 49-yard touchdown pass. Warner narrowly avoided a sack on the play, as a group of Bruins was an instant from taking him to the dirt.
That same group of Bear River defenders is what limited Mesa Verde to 26 yards on 27 carries. Rickey Abernathy, who entered the game with a 10-yard-per-carry average, led his team with 13 yards on six totes.
Joel Davis led the Bruins’ defense, collecting two solo sacks and assisting another, while also recovering a fumble early in the fourth quarter.
Bear River co-head coach said the week his team had off from school helped in the win.
“We made it work to our advantage,” Savoie said. “We were able to just focus on football.”
The Bruins’ focus will now turn to Lincoln, which Savoie said is as big and physical as he remembers.
Bear River has enjoyed success against the Fighting Zebras in recent years, including last season’s 41-0 shutout.
“We’ve had some success against Lincoln,” Savoie said. “But none of that matters on Friday.”
Bruins 35, Mavericks 7
Mesa Verde (3-4) 0 0 0 7 – 7
Bear River (5-2) 14 13 7 0 – 34
BR – Gary Schmidt 1 run, Jared Murnan kick (8:32).
BR – Gary Schmidt 2 run, kick blocked (:45).
BR – Gary Schmidt 2 run, C.J. Crausby 2 run (11:36)
BR – C.J. Crausby 9 run, kick missed (6:25).
BR – Matt Belnap 19 run, Jared Murnan kick (7:37).
MV – Jake Warner 49 pass to Greg Fulks, Kody Curtis kick (5:19).
First downs 5 13
Total Net Yards 142 312
Rushes-yards 27-26 48-225
Passing 116 87
Comp-Att-Int 8-15-0 3-7-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 3-20 1-10
RUSHING – Mesa Verde, Rickey Abernathy 6-13, Sam Wooten 4-12, Greg Fulks 2-5, Matt Bankert 6-5,Garrett West 1-0, Jake Warner 8-(minus 9). Bear River, C.J. Crausby 8-95 and 1 TD, Matt Belnap 3-39 and 1 TD, David Richey 9-27, Tommy Jones 7-24, Johnny Lascoe 8-18, Andy Parquette 4-10, Gary Schmidt 5-7 and 3 TDs, Axel Wadman 2-6, Hunter Tanquary 1-4, Jared Murnan 1-(minus 5).
PASSING – Mesa Verde, Jake Warner 8-15-0 for 116 yards and 1 TD. C.J. Crausby 3-5-0 for 87 yards, Drew Loftus 0-2-0.
RECEIVING – Mesa Verde, Greg Fulks 3-67 and 1 TD, Kody Curtis 2-13, R.J. Williams 1-16, Matt Bankert 1-12, Garrett West 1-8. Bear River, Lars Nielsen 2-84, Axel Wadman 1-3.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – Mesa Verde, none. Bear River, Jared Murnan 1.
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