PREP FOOTBALL: Colfax soars to win over rival Bear River (VIDEO) | TheUnion.com

PREP FOOTBALL: Colfax soars to win over rival Bear River (VIDEO)

Brian Shepard
Special to The Union

Once again the classic Pioneer Valley League Bear River versus Colfax rivalry game did not disappoint.

The Falcons (6-2, 1-2 PVL) soared out to a quick 14-0 lead and the Bruins (6-2, 1-2 PVL) rallied back to tie it in the third quarter, but down the stretch Colfax proved too much to handle as it secured a 31-14 victory Friday night at J. David Ramsey Field.

"I think kind of the typical Bear River-Colfax game," said Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie. "It was a war out there."

First blood was drawn by the Falcons with senior quarterback Ryland Heimann hooking up with receiver Jake Green for a 30-yard score on the game's opening drive. It was the first of Heimann's four touchdown passes, three of which were hauled in by Green.

Heimann finished 15-of-21 passing for 271 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Colfax amassed 547 yards of total offense to Bear River's 206.

"It was a great game," said Colfax head coach Tony Martello. "Kids showed a lot of resiliency. They fought hard. I think Bear River had a good scheme, but I think our kids showed their heart and played their butts off tonight and I'm proud of them."

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After Bear River missed a 32-yard field goal on its opening drive, Colfax took over and marched 80 yards with running back Mason Ahrens slicing through the Bruins defense to set up a scoring opportunity. Then it was Heimann dialing up a 4-yard connection with Garren O'Keefe to put his team ahead 14-0.

Ahrens had more moves than a roach in a bowl of cereal, wiggling through creases and moving the chains 13 times for the Falcons. He tallied 268 rushing yards on 38 carries, but all the Falcons scores came on the arm of Heimann, and were punched in on third down scenarios, including the biggest dagger of them all.

"Without a doubt, that was the play of the game," said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue, referring to the 62-yard touchdown pass his defense allowed just 90 seconds after pulling even. "We had just scored, tied it up, had them at third-and-10… We were in an over-under coverage and neither guy was there. That just gave (Colfax) life, and got them back in the game."

Bruins safety Luke Baggett nabbed an interception in the second quarter, which began to resurrection process for Bear River. The Bruins took over on the 36-yard line and later scored when senior Travis Carpenter went in from 2-yards out to pull Bear River to within a score at 14-7 just before halftime.

Carrying momentum with it to its opening drive in the third quarter, Bear River silenced the Colfax faithful with a 52-yard pass from Baggett to Tre Maronic on third-and-14, which tied the contest at 14-14.

"Our two losses in the PVL were both heart-wrenching in the sense that in the fourth quarter we pulled within reach against Lincoln 19-13 then they separated," said Savoie. "Then tonight, tied it up 14-14 in the third quarter."

Baggett finished the night 5-of-15 passing for 103 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Maronic led receivers with three grabs for 88 yards and a score.

Rushing wasn't any easier for the Bruins, who totaled 103 yards on 29 attempts. Austin Baze led with 15 carries for 59 yards, followed by Calder Kunde with four touches for 26 yards.

Once ahead 21-14, the Falcons never looked back as they scored 17 unanswered points to close out the game.

Kicker Alex Weir drilled a 25-yard field goal to give Colfax a more comfortable 24-14 advantage at the end of the third quarter, and Heimann found Green one last time on a quick 3-yard slant for a score to make it a three possession game. Green covered a lot of green, which was apparently greener inside the end zone as he collected five catches for 112 yards and three touchdowns.

Thereafter, it was Ahrens grinding it out and slipping tackles to work down the clock.

Leading the way on defense for Bear River was Carpenter and Baggett, who finished with 13.5 and 13 tackles respectively. Baggett also had an interception and a strip with a fumble recovery. Baze finished with 10 tackles.

Grabbing interceptions for the Falcons were Jacob LaHaie and Weir.

Bear River is back at J. David Ramsey Field for its final home game of the season when it welcomes PVL front-runner Placer (7-1, 3-0 PVL) Oct. 27.

JV: COLFAX 29 BEAR RIVER 3

The Bruins junior varsity squad (2-5, 0-3 PVL) had a rough go, grabbing an early 3-0 lead before surrendering 29 unanswered points in a 29-3 loss.

Bruins' kicker Matthew Brouhard knocked through a 30-yard field goal on the teams' opening drive, but the Falcons soared from there.

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

Falcons 31 Bruins 14

FIRST QUARTER

C: Jake Green 30-yard pass from Ryland Heimann (Alex Weir kick) 8:28

C: Garren O’Keefe 4-yard pass from Heimann (Weir kick) 1:14

SECOND QUARTER

BR: Travis Carpenter 2-yard run (Alex Bohn kick) 3:55

THIRD QUARTER

BR: Tre Maronic 52-yard pass from Luke Baggett (Bohn kick) 8:59

C: Green 62-yard pass from Heimann (Weir kick) 7:33

C: Weir 25-yard FG 1:56

FOURTH QUARTER

C: Green 3-yard pass from Heimann (Weir kick) 7:53