PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River improves to 4-0 with rout of Liberty Ranch | TheUnion.com

PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River improves to 4-0 with rout of Liberty Ranch

Brian Shepard
Special to The Union

GALT — The Bruins took their show on the road once again, and once again they came away with a blowout victory.

Bear River's football team went into Liberty Ranch's new stadium Friday night and thumped the Hawks, 49-21, to improve to 4-0 overall and 3-0 on the road this season.

"Coming into it we thought it was going to be more of a battle than we've had the last three weeks," said senior quarterback Calder Kunde, who finished the night 9-of-13 passing for 136 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bruins got a chance to show off their goal line defense early when Liberty Ranch returned the opening kickoff all the way back to the 8-yard line, setting up first and goal for the Hawks. The Bruins defense held the Hawks out of the end zone and forced a 39-yard field goal attempt that never got past the line of scrimmage thanks to a relentless Bear River surge. The attempt was blocked, Kunde scooped it up and went 57 yards to put Bear River ahead 7-0.

"Bear River is known for our defense, especially goal line," Kunde said. "Coach Logue said, 'You stop them at the goal line, give us a chance and we'll show you how it's done.'"

The Bruins roared from there, capitalizing on opportunities with authority and punching in additional first quarter scores from Hunter Daniels, Dylan-Bergez Scott and Tre Maronic to quickly build a 28-0 lead just eight minutes into the contest.

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"Dylan Scott did a lot of great things tonight," said co-head coach Scott Savoie. "I told him at halftime, he made some big catches, made some good kicks, but the thing I was most proud of was the way he ran that guy down on that opening kickoff. Look how it turned out. We stuffed them and ended up scoring on that drive. It was a great way to start the game."

The Bruins' defensive tenacity and hustle continued to pave the way for their offense as Logan Jenkins secured a fumble recovery and Chad Bucher hauled in an interception to set up the Bruins with good field position.

The Bruins pushed their lead to 35-0 early in the second quarter when Daniels scored on a 23-yard screen pass from Kunde. On the play, Kunde overthrew Daniels, but the ball bounced off a Liberty Ranch defender and right into Daniels' hands. He then found his way to the end zone behind offensive lineman Trae Nix who hustled down field to clear the way.

"The only drawback is there's only one football, you know," said co-head coach Terry Logue. "We got to spread it around. Our passing game is going good. Our running game is going good. Our second unit is playing good. Our defense is playing great. We just got to try to keep it going."

Bergez-Scott grabbed an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kunde near the end of the half to cap off a five-play, 58-yard drive, which featured an impressive 2-minute hurry up style offense. Bear River led 42-14 at the half with everyone on the roster getting to see some action early on.

Bergez-Scott finished with two catches for 28 yards and two touchdowns. Maronic grabbed three catches for 64 yards, including a long of 38 to get the Bruins rolling on their first offensive possession.

Solid up front once again, Bear River made gaps when it needed to as Maronic sliced his way up field for 62 rush yards on seven touches, including a 6-yard score in the opening minutes. Daniels added 16 yards rushing and a score on three attempts, and Erik LaCoss helped down the stretch with seven carries for 30 yards.

The second half started with a bang as Maronic turned on the jets and split a wave of defenders for a 92-yard kickoff return touchdown that put Bear River up 49-14.

"Calder and I were just talking, 'They don't want to kick it deep on us because one of us is going to take it to the house,'" said Maronic. "I caught it, went to the left a little, then cut back and saw a hole. Great blocking on it too."

Liberty Ranch quarterback Matthew Hopper scored on a 66-yard run late in the game to bolster Liberty Ranch's rushing numbers. As the team the Hawks finished with 129 yards rushing on 22 attempts. They hit on 11-of-24 passes for 125 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Sam Davis and Jared Baze were beasts on the defensive side for the Bruins. Davis tallied eight tackles, including a sack. Baze wrapped up three tackles, including a pair of sacks for a combined loss of 25 yards. Bucher nabbed a pick to go with his three tackles, and Zach Fink also added three tackles, including a sack.

The Bruins have now outscored their opponents 202-31 so far this season. Bear River opens a four-game homestand beginning next week when it wraps up non-league play against Encina Prep.

AROUND THE PVL

Teams from the Pioneer Valley League went a combined 4-1 Friday night. Colfax (3-0) clobbered Colusa, 44-6. The Falcons got huge games from quarterback Alex Weir (11-for-14, 359 pass yards, five touchdowns) and receiver Jake Green (6 catches, 284 yards, four touchdowns). Center (4-0) remained unbeaten with a 41-21 win over El Camino. Foothill (3-0) got 199 rush yards and two touchdowns from William Goebell in a 53-12 victory over Natomas. Lindhurst (2-2) was the lone PVL team to lose, falling to Las Plumas, 38-17. Marysville (1-2) had a bye.

JV: LIBERTY RANCH 35, BEAR RIVER 14

The Bruins junior varsity squad came up short against the JV Hawks Friday night.

Bear River got on the board with a 10-yard run from Ryder Kiggins to cut the deficit to 8-6, but the Hawks answered back and took a 14-6 lead into halftime.

Bruins quarterback Tyler Dzioba found a spark late, hooking up with Jake Ayestran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.

BRUINS 49 HAWKS 21

FIRST QUARTER

BR: Calder Kunde 57-yard blocked field goal return (Dylan Bergez-Scott kick) 10:23

BR: Hunter Daniels 3-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 7:41

BR: Bergez-Scott 10-yard pass from Kunde (Bergez-Scott kick) 7:20

BR: Maronic 6-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 4:16

SECOND QUARTER

BR: Daniels 23-yard pass from Kunde (Bergez-Scott kick) 6:12

LR: Gabriel Nino 24-yard pass from Matthew Hopper (Leonardo Soto kick) 3:11

BR: Bergez-Scott 18-yard pass from Kunde (Bergez-Scott kick) 1:30

LR: Hopper 14-yard run (Soto kick) :24

THIRD QUARTER

BR: Maronic 92-yard kickoff return (Bergez-Scott kick) 11:45

FOURTH QUARTER

LR: Hopper 66-yard run (Soto kick) 9:30