There were long, solemn faces on the Bear River sideline Friday night in Rocklin. So much so that many of the Bruins had to be consoled after losing their season’s first game to Whitney, 28-12, in a display of broken plays.
The loss automatically puts the Bruins’ playoff hopes in jeopardy. Starting with Placer next week, there is the added pressure to win every game in order to make the playoffs out of the Pioneer Valley League.
“For us, it’s do-or-die next week (against Placer),” co-head coach Terry Logue said. “If we lose, we’re in a heap of trouble.”
Bear River (3-1-1 overall, 0-1 PVL) wasn’t so close to the edge before the fourth quarter Friday. The team was down only 14-12 to the Wildcats after Andy Parquette had punched in his second touchdown for the Bruins on the day, a 2-yarder with 8:54 to go. The Bruins had elected to go for a two-point conversion, but failed on the pass attempt by quarterback Drew Loftus.
On the Wildcats ensuing drive, the Bruins held the Wildcats to a 4th-and-1, giving hope that the team could get the ball back and possibly score the go-ahead touchdown or field goal in the coming minutes. Instead, Whitney decided to go for it on fourth down, running a counter play with running back Zack Graves. Graves took the hand off and raced up the left sideline for a 51-yard touchdown, essentially running away from the team with 7:04 left in the game.
And the Bruins couldn’t respond on the next drive, turning the ball over on downs.
“(Graves) is as good a running back as there is in the section area,” Logue said. “This was a dang good football team but until they broke that long run, we were in it all the way into the fourth quarter.
“Defensively, we can not give up big runs like that.”
Even worse, on the Wildcats’ next drive, they ran a similar sweep with Graves they had run all game, instead this time it was a halfback toss-pass. Graves took the pitch and tossed a perfect spiral to a racing Jake Snyder for 75 yards to put the game out of reach 28-12 with 3:06 left.
It was the first time the Bruins looked dejected this season.
“Obviously, we’re devastated when you come up short,” said co-head coach Scott Savoie to his players after the game. “Things aren’t over though. We just made it harder on ourselves (to make the playoffs).”
Last week, the Bruins had given up the most points all season (21) in a tie with Marysville. This week, that was surpassed and the once impregnable defense that drew two shutouts to begin the year is slumping. And the pressure is building for the team to correct its little errors in order to keep moving ahead.
“That’s part of the game, especially if you want to make the playoffs in our league,” Logue said. “(For) next week’s game it’s back to the drawing board.”
Bruins 14, Wildcats 10
The junior varsity Bruins managed to make the best of a bad situation. In the fourth quarter, down 3-0 to Whitney, Bear River tallied two touchdowns in a span of four minutes to best the Wildcats, 14-10 in Rocklin.
Colby Angus scored on a 1-yard scamper and Cole White threw a touchdown pass from his running back position to put Bear River in front for good. White led the team on both offense and defense, recording 10 solo tackles and rushed six times for 50 yards and a touchdown.
To contact Sports Writer Zuri Berry, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
Bear River (3-1-1) 0 6 0 6 ” 12
Whitney (5-0) 7 0 7 14 ” 28
W – Will Olson 5 run (Nick Law kick good), 1:21
BR – Andy Parquette 1 run (failed kick), :52
W – Zack Graves 54 run (Law kick good), 10:43
BR – Parquette 2 run (pass failed), 8:54
W – Graves 51 run (Law kick good), 7:13
W – Jake Snyder 75 pass from Graves (Law kick good), 3:06
By BRIAN HAMILTON
STOCKTON – Solomon Martin and Fred Jones gave the Nevada Union faithful a real good look at how the Franklin Yellow Jackets had rushed for more than 1,600 yards through four games this season.
On Friday night, the Yellow Jacket duo ran for 403 yards behind their massive front line, led by Martin’s 280 rushing yards and four touchdowns, as Franklin handed Nevada Union its fourth-straight loss by a 45-21 count.
With two 300-pounders on the offensive front, along with a half dozen others also pushing three bills, Martin and Jones kept grinding out yardage late in the second half to break the game wide open.
Nevada Union (1-4) held a 21-19 lead midway through the third quarter, after senior fullback Corey Browning broke free for a 9-yard touchdown run and Kyle Bielen added the PAT.
But back the Yellow Jackets came, as Jones broke a few tackles before speeding 67 yards down the right sideline for a 25-21 score with 1:17 remaining in the quarter.
Franklin (4-1) then caused a Nevada Union turnover on the Miners’ next possession. NU sophomore quarterback Broughan Jantz ran the ball left on an option and made a pitch to halfback Bryan Scarborough. But before the ball could find its target, Franklin’s Jeremy Mayfield batted the ball down, recovered it and ran it 17 yards for a touchdown and a 32-21 Yellow Jacket lead.
Nevada Union responded by driving the ball 55 yards to the Franklin 9-yard line, before turning the ball over on downs.
One snap later, Martin took the ball over left tackle and found daylight for a 91-yard touchdown and a 38-21 lead with 7:22 to go in the game.
“He’s a great talent, an outstanding back,” NU head coach Dave Humphers said of the senior, who had 164 yards and three touchdowns at halftime.
“Obviously, he’s fast, but he’s also very strong.”
The same could be said for Jones, who ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Humphers said the late game-breaking plays were more of a result of the Franklin’s impressive ground game, rather than the Miners wearing down late in the contest.
NU senior linebacker Tucker Colomb said he and his defensive teammates simply didn’t play the game the way they needed to down the stretch to keep the Yellow Jacket backs under wraps.
“We stopped playing as hard,” Colomb said. “We stopped being as physical as we needed to be.”
The Miners looked like the more physical team early on, taking the opening kickoff and marching 62 yards in seven plays and 2 minutes and 12 seconds for a 7-0 lead, after senior Matt Anderson scored on a 12-yard touchdown run.
Anderson, one of nine NU backs who carried the ball Friday, led the team with 59 rushing yards on 11 carries. Browning had 36 yards and fellow fullback Jake Wolf added 31 more and a touchdown.
“I think we played really hard for three quarters,” Humphers said. “A lot of credit goes to Coach (Tom) Verner and his staff. They did a very, very
good job preparing for us.
“We didn’t wear down. Our team is in excellent shape. I just think there were a couple of mistakes defensively and also a couple of mistakes offensively that killed our drives.”
Humphers told the team that after playing a tough non-league schedule, the reality is Nevada Union and the rest of the Delta Valley Conference begins play next week with a clean slate as the battle for playoff berths begins.
“Now,” Humphers said, “they count.”
Colomb, for one, said he’s ready to make the most of that second start to the season.
“We’re getting a lot better every week,” he said. “And as of now we’re 0-0.
“League is what counts.”
JV: Nevada Union 28, Franklin 12
Nevada Union’s junior varsity team was led by Zach Vallejo’s 109 yards and three touchdowns as the Miners improved to 3-1-1 on the season with a 28-12 win at Franklin of Stockton Friday.
The game was knotted at 6-6 at the half.
“We made some adjustments on our line, both of our starting tackles are out, so we had to make some adjustments there at halftime,” said NU coach
Mitch Giles. “And then it was fine.”
Giles praised the play of his second team units Friday and also noted a nice 8-yard catch by Daniel Agness.
“I told the kids it wasn’t pretty,” Giles said. “but it was a win.”
Contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at email@example.com
or by phone at 477-4240.
Franklin 45, Nevada Union 21
NU (1-4) 7 7 7 0 – 21
F (4-1) 7 12 6 20 – 45
NU – Matt Anderson 12 run (Kyle Bielen kick), 9:48
F – Solomon Martin 5 run (William Opeta kick), :43
F – Martin 71 run (Run failed), 10:49
NU – Jake Wolf 3 run (Bielen kick), 6:37
F – Martin 1 run (Run failed), 2:18
NU – Corey Browning 9 run (Bielen kick), 6:24
F – Fred Jones 67 run (Run failed), 1:17
F – Jeremy Mayfield 17 fumble recovery (Opeta kick), 11:14
F – Martin 91 yards (Kick blocked), 7:22
F – Jones 11 run (Opeta kick), 1:37
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