Bear River cruises to close regular season
Special to The Union
BRUINS 47, FIGHTING ZEBRAS 6
BR: Dave Mastrella 18-yard run (7:12) Ben O’Lena kick
BR: Kyle Uclaray 26-yard run (4:51) O’Lena kick
BR: Uclaray 21-yard run (11:50) PAT no good
L: Amrin Dosanjh 11-yard pass to Jeffrey Jones (9:27) PAT no good
BR: Jason Voter 72-yard pass to John Voter III (7:59) O’ Lena kick
BR: Uclaray 40-yard run (5:05) O’Lena kick
BR: Voter III 69-yard run (1:07) PAT no good
BR: Austin Baze 47-yard run (8:12) O’Lena kick
Sometimes talent just can’t be contained, as was the case Friday night at J. David Ramsey Field.
Bear River’s offense simply dominated Lincoln on the gridiron as it lit up the scoreboard and stomped over the Fighting Zebras and coach Chris Bean in a 47-6 walloping to stake its claim for runner up in the Pioneer Valley League.
“This game was really mentally tough,” said Bruins junior running back Kyle Uclaray, who ran all over the Zebras with seven caries for 114 yards and three touchdowns, including a long of 40 yards. “Tears were shed. Everyone was flustered because Bean is like a father to all of us. Seeing him on the other sideline is hard. Blue just isn’t his color.”
The Bruins outgained the competition in total yards 452-226, with touchdowns coming from Dave Mastrella, Uclaray, John Voter III and Austin Baze. Mastrella bursts through the left side of the line and was gone on an 18-yard scamper to give his team the early edge on a 69-yard opening drive, which was kept alive with a clutch 21-yard completion from David O’Brien to Ben O’Lena on 3rd-and-9.
Uclaray added the Bruins’ next two scores on runs of 26 and 21 yards, stiff-arming and juking past Lincoln defenders to create space before cutting up field. Other times he wasn’t even touched. Senior Voter III exploded for two long scores of his own, a 72 yard shovel pass from little brother Jason Voter, and a 69-yard dash around the right end right before half to put the Bruins up 40-6.
“I think we played harder this game than any other because we knew who was across the field,” said Voter III, who finished with 10 carries for 102 yards and two touchdowns. “Our line opened up everything. It was incredible.”
In the second half, Baze, a freshman, scored on a 47-yard run for the Bruins to become the first Bear River freshman to score a touchdown at the varsity level.
“Winning tonight wasn’t enough,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “We wanted to play well and execute offensively. Our offense was clicking. Everyone got to play. I’m excited to see Baze score. I’m happy to finish the season like this. We did our part.”
In all the Bruins amassed 340 yard rushing on 36 rushes and O’Brien and Voter combined to finish 4-for-4 passing for 112 yards.
“It was one of those games where it was really nice because we jumped on them early,” added Bruins co-head coach Terry Logue. “There weren’t too many serious injuries, lots of backups played well, Pitts, Good, Tait. We got momentum heading into the playoffs.”
Defensively for the Bruins, Kyle Krogman led the way with 11 tackles, followed by John Voter III with five and Connor Hollister, who wrapped up four, including one for a loss of four yards. Lincoln’s offensive attack didn’t stand a chance the way the Bruins were playing. The Fighting Zebras finished the night with 38 carries for 124 yards, an average of just 3.3 yards per rush.
“Looking around at the community, it’s just full of wonderful people,” said Lincoln head coach Bean, who was busy giving out hugs to Bruins after the game. “It’s the real deal. As far as schools go this is one of the best places to be.”
Bear River (8-2, 4-1 PVL) now awaits its fate with the release of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff brackets at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Bruins could be a high seed in D-V or possibly even get bumped up to D-IV, depending how things shake out with other qualifying teams.
JV: Bear River 19, Lincoln 7
The Bruins (6-4, 5-0 PVL) are PVL champs once again after putting together a dominating performance to defeat Lincoln and finish a clean sweep of the PVL slate.
“We came in 4-0 and (Lincoln) was 3-1 so this is outright,” said first year junior varsity head coach Tanner Mathias, who was doused with an ice cooler after the win. “It’s a lot better than a share. We had a slow start (this season), but had lots of heart across the board. These guys have been hungry for years and they finally got to eat.”
Bear River trailed early 7-0, but jumped on the board with a 40-yard pick-six by Kyle Wooner and added another score before halftime on an end-around pass from wide receiver Isaiah Baker to Jimmy Kelly to take a 12-7 lead into the locker room. Freshman Zach Rubey, who was called up to play JV tonight, plowed into the end zone for a 3-yard score to give the Bruins the two-score cushion.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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