PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins sail past Vikings | TheUnion.com

PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins sail past Vikings

Brian Shepard
Special to The Union

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The foothills towered over the mountaintops Friday night as the Bear River football team served up a hefty dose of championship-caliber grit and execution on its way to a 50-3 rout of South Lake Tahoe in its season opener.

"Our offensive line was great," said junior Tre Maronic, who rushed nine times for 89 yards and a touchdown, and hauled in three catches for 36 yards and a score. "Calder (Kunde) did a great job in the pocket, stayed relaxed. Our receivers did amazing. We made perfect holes, plenty of room to run, plenty of time to throw the ball."

The Vikings came out strong, marching down the field and threatening to take an early lead, but we're stopped on third-and-goal when junior Colton Jenkins snatched an interception in the end zone and brought it out to the Bruins 2-yard line.

From there the rout was on as Bear River drove 98 yards on 12 plays and never looked back, scoring on a 3-yard pass from Kunde to Maronic.

The Vikings never quite settled after that, surrendering six turnovers throughout the contest as the Bruins kept the pressure on.

On the Vikings' next drive, Bear River senior Austin Slining grabbed an interception and went the distance for a 26-yard pick-six to put Bear River ahead 14-0.

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Then just five plays later it was Hunter Daniels pouncing on a fumble, which set up Maronic's 28-yard scamper to make it 21-0.

After a Slining fumble recovery, Kunde connected with Jenkins from three yards out to extend the lead to 27-0.

"Our offense executed pretty well, but it all starts with the D," said Kunde, who exited in the third quarter after passing 7-for-12 for 119 yards with three touchdowns, two of which came on fourth down. "If our defense hadn't stepped up in the first three minutes of the game, then we might have lost our momentum. We worked hard this week and got it done. I trust my guys. I trust what they can do so I felt pretty safely protected back there tonight."

Despite playing at an elevation over 6,200 feet, it was the Bruins who had the Vikings sucking wind early. Bear River dominated in the trenches, creating gaping holes for Maronic and Daniels.

"Yeah, the score is not what we're happy with," said co-head coach Terry Logue. "The win we're happy with. Execution, we did a lot of really good things. Been a great week getting ready for the game, coming up here. We had a great Italian dinner before the game at Tep's Villa Roma. Been a great week and it's great to be 1-0."

The Vikings only score came with a friendly bounce off the crossbar on the goalpost for a 46-yard field goal right before halftime, which cut the deficit to 27-3.

Bear River continued to light up the scoreboard down the stretch, though, with big play after big play. Even when it seemed the Vikings might finally force a turnover on downs, Kunde dialed up a 22-yard touchdown connection to senior Dylan Bergez-Scott on fourth-and-9 to go ahead 34-3. Bergez-Scott finished with three catches for 63 yards and a score.

On South Lake's ensuing possession, a botched snap on a punt ended in a 21-yard loss and a safety, which extended the Bruin lead to 36-3.

Junior halfback Erik LaCross saw action in the second half, and put the final exclamation points on the night with touchdown runs from 26 and 33 yards out.

Defensively the Bruins yielded just 85 rushing yards on 29 carries and held the Vikings' sophomore quarterback to 11-of-24 passing for 135 yards with three interceptions.

Slining led the defense with a team-high 11 tackles to go with his pick-six and fumble recovery.

Logan Jenkins followed Slining with 10 tackles and two batted balls. Colton Jenkins finished with two interceptions with 19 total return yards. Trae Nix finished with seven tackles and a fumble recovery, as did Daniels.

Bear River (1-0) is back in action this Friday for its home opener versus El Dorado.

AROUND THE PIONEER VALLEY LEAGUE

Teams from the Pioneer Valley League shined in the first week of the season, going a combined 6-0.

Colfax (1-0) shutout Golden Sierra, 35-0, as head coach Tony Martello earned his 200th win of his impressive career. Center (1-0) topped Rio Linda, 40-26. Foothill crushed Mira Loma, 70-0. Marysville held on to beat Natomas, 20-14. And, Lindhurst edged Mesa Verde, 14-12.

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

BRUINS 50, VIKINGS 3

FIRST QUARTER

BR: Tre Maronic 3-yard pass from Calder Kunde (Dylan Bergez-Scott kick) 3:59

BR: Austin Slining 26-yard interception return (Bergez-Scott) 3:07

SECOND QUARTER

BR: Maronic 28-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 11:51

BR: Colton Jenkins 3-yard pass from Kunde (PAT no good) 2:51

SLT: Gio Medina Morales 46-yard FG 0:00

THIRD QUARTER

BR: Bergez-Scott 22-yard pass from Kunde (Bergez-Scott kick) 10:35

BR: Safety 8:01

BR: Erik LaCoss 16-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 1:50

FOURTH QUARTER

BR: LaCoss 33-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 7:07