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Bear River looks to rebound against Center

Bear River's Gunnar Simpson applies pressure as Placer's Clark Pietromonacodrops back to pass during a game last week.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

KNOW & go

What: Bear River vs. Center

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: J. David Ramsey Stadium, Bear River High School

Bear River (6-2, 2-1 PVL)

Last week: lost to Placer, 28-0

PVL rank: T-2

Center (5-3, 2-1 PVL)

Last week: Beat Colfax, 33-21

PVL rank: T-2

After splitting a pair of rivalry games on the road, the Bear River Bruins return home to host reigning Pioneer Valley League champ Center.

The Cougars (5-3, 2-1 PVL) are coming off a 33-21 victory over Colfax last week, in which they outscored the Falcons 13-0 in the fourth quarter.

“Center is dangerous,” Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie said. “They stretch you out on defense with their spread offense and run and pass well.”



The Cougars started the season off a bit rough, going 3-2 in the preseason and having to forfeit their PVL opener to Placer after disciplinary actions depleted the team. In the game proceeding the contest with Placer, Center players got into a brawl with Encinal players during the fourth quarter of a game, resulting in suspensions for most the team. The forfeit dropped Center to 3-3 overall and 0-1 in league, but it appears the Cougars have once again found their stride, beating Colfax last week and shutting out Lincoln, 25-0, the week before.

“I’m really impressed with the way they play because most of their players never come off the field,” Savoie said. “They have 10 kids that are two-way starters. They have 10 guys who do it all.”




The Cougars are a balanced team offensively, able to run and throw effectively, said Savoie.

Center is led by quarterback Elias JBeily, running backs Marcellus Roberts and Tobias Marshall, and wide receiver Tiantai Anderson.

This season, Center is averaging 24 points per game on offense and holding opponents to just 15.6 points per game.

The Cougars defense is led by Marshall, Anderson, Roberts and Kurtis Meyer.

The Bruins suffered their first loss since Aug. 29 last week, a 28-0 thrashing by Placer, but Savoie said his team has had a good week of practice and are looking forward to getting back on track.

“We lost a big game, but it happens,” said Savoie. “It happens every week at every level. You either stay down or get back up, and our kids have got back up.”

Savoie said his team will stick to what they do best and get the run game going, but he also stressed the need to protect the ball.

“Both teams need to prepare for a wet night, and at Bear River that means a wet and muddy night,” he said. “I think turnovers will be a big factor in this one. We need to run the ball and protect the ball.”

Bear River running backs John Voter, Kyle Uclaray, Dave Mastrella and David O’Brien will carry the load against Center.

Junior quarterback Jason Voter will look to shrug off last weeks game, a 4-for-16 performance that garnered just 41 yards.

“I don’t think we did a good job of protecting Jason last week,” Savoie said. “We have to do a better job there.”

Defensively the key for Bear River is limiting the big play by Center.

“They run a spread offense and force you to stretch out the defense. You can’t pack the box,” said Savoie. “We are going to try like heck not to give up the big play, but they are explosive.”

The Bruins are hoping for a better result then 2013 when the Cougars beat them, 34-7.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at J. David Ramsey Stadium on the Bear River High School campus.

Elsewhere in the PVL

Colfax (6-3, 2-2 PVL) beat Foothill, 45-12, Thursday night. The game was moved by Foothill administrators from Friday to Thursday to avoid the Halloween holiday, said Colfax head coach Tony Martello. Placer (6-2, 3-0 PVL) travels to face Lincoln (1-7, 0-3 PVL).

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.


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