Bear River falls to rival Colfax
From annual league contests, to section championship bouts to a pandemic-driven spring game, the Bear River-Colfax gridiron rivalry has ran the gamut during it’s 30-plus years.
No matter the circumstance, the Bruins and the Falcons always play with added vigor when they line up across from each other, and Friday night was no different.
“It’s a humongous game,” said Colfax head coach Tony Martello. “It’s always been a humongous game. … It’s always been real intense and we’ve always fought really hard on the field. Off the field, in the game of life, there’s a lot of respect.”
Friday night’s iteration of the long standing rivalry was more lopsided than it usually is, with Colfax cruising to a 37-7 victory, but the mutual respect and admiration the teams have for each other remained the same.
“A lot of class,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue. “Both teams hit hard and picked each other up. I think they understood the magnitude of the game, besides the fact that they kicked our butt. A lot of good sportsmanship between the two schools. I respect Tony and his staff. He does a hell of a lot with what they got.”
On the field it was hard hitting and animated, but when the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard both teams stood across from each other with gratitude and respect.
“Our kids have a lot more in common than they do differences,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “Tony gets the same kind of guys we do. I respect him and respect his staff and what he’s done over the years.”
Colfax improved to 3-0 on the season with the win. The Falcons were led by senior running back Juliono Martello, who rushed for more than 100 yards and two touchdowns. Colfax’s senior quarterback Wyatt Neumann also tossed a pair of touchdowns, a 24-yarder to Luke Green and a 29-yarder to Conner Vaughn. Vaughn also added a touchdown on the ground.
Leading the Bruins (2-3) was junior running back Ryder Kiggins, who scored the team’s lone touchdown and fought hard for his 75 rushing yards.
“In a five year span (2014-2018) we played (Colfax) three times for the section title and that’s just a testament to the quality of both programs.” said Logue. “We’re very similar. We got the same kind of kids, and we try to get the most out of them. They play like crazy, and (Tony Martello) has done a great job. I think we’re two very fine Northern California football programs.”
Friday likely marked the last time Logue will coach a game at Bear River’s J. David Ramsey Stadium.
“It’s bittersweet, but it’s time,” said Logue, who first started at Bear River in 1987 and has tallied 251 wins as a head coach. “I know it’s time in my heart. Physically, mentally I just can’t do it…. It’s time to let the younger guys run the show.”
Tony Martello said having to face Logue and Savoie all these years forced him to sharpen his skill set as a coach.
“Terry has made me a better football coach. I’ve had to pay attention to detail, pay attention to my game plans at a level I hadn’t before,” he said. “Scott is a class act. They do a great job coaching and they do a great job with their community. It’s an incredible relationship.”
Martello added Friday night’s game was less about the score and more about the deeper meanings found in football.
“Our kids are thankful to have the opportunity to play,” he said. “It’s been an emotional roller coaster with COVID. … Just the fact that our kids were able to play and play each other in close communities. It’s just been incredible.
“That’s the true meaning of football. Kids respecting the game, enjoying the journey, enjoying putting in the hard work and then getting to play an opponent. That’s more important than the score or how we played.”
Friday night was also Bear River’s Senior Night and the team acknowledged its 10 seniors before kickoff.
“We’ve had some great football teams here and had some great kids, great families come through this program over the years,” said Savoie, “but I can’t say I’ve ever been prouder of any group than this group. Just what they’ve gone through and had to overcome to make it out here. It’s a special, special thing and I’m proud to be their coach.”
Bear River and Colfax are scheduled to clash once more April 16 at Colfax in the season finale for both teams.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com.
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Nevada Union surged past Bear River on the diamond Friday, topping the Bruins, 11-1, to complete the series sweep.