Bear River ready to battle Eureka for homecoming game (VIDEO) |

Bear River ready to battle Eureka for homecoming game (VIDEO)

Bear River's Michael Tipton gets around the corner.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

History will be made during tonight’s homecoming game at J. David Ramsey Field when the Bear River Bruins host the school’s first ever gridiron match up against the Eureka Loggers. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

“Well we’re trying to get our fifth win,” said co-head coach Terry Logue. “Very good team (Eureka), very talented. They’ve won four straight games scoring a lot of points — good athletes, speed in the backfield, a big strong quarterback — it’s going to be a good test for us. Homecoming game, one of our five home games — all those things together spell excitement.”

Depending on the route, the Loggers (4-1) will travel approximately 300 miles to reach the Sierra Nevada foothills and the home of the undefeated Bruins. According to Bruins co-head coach Logue, Eureka left this morning to give itself plenty of time. Next season it will be Bear River’s turn to make the trek up north.

“For me it’s all those things that Terry said, but to add just one more dimension to it is I’ve known (their coach) for a long time,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “He’s been a recruiter for our area for quite awhile. He was at Humboldt State for years and even played there. He’s a good football coach, respect him. I think he respects our program. So this is great — it’s great to play somebody completely new, out of the area and like coach (Logue) said it’s no cakewalk. This is a good football team.”

Senior Alexis Robinson is the Loggers’ Paul Bunyan. He led the team in rushing through the first two games of the season with 199 yards on 20 carries, which is roughly 10 yards per carry. Those are lumberjack size steps right there. Both he and senior Kjellan Gallegos have taken snaps at quarterback this season. Other threats out of the backfield include juniors Marcus Finney and Michael McClurg.

“Well it’s a new team we’ve never seen so we’re relying on the game films we traded,” Logue said. “We traded two game films each. They got two of ours, we got two of theirs so we break those down and try to decide what we need to stop the most and who’s the biggest threat and in this case they have three or four really good threats. Sometimes we have to tweak it out on the field — sometimes on paper it looks good but when you get out there it doesn’t work.”

Like Bear River, Eureka offers depth in the backfield. As far as a passing attack, the Loggers have shown they throw about 10 or more times in game, but their completion rate is not as consistent as that of Bruins senior Braden Duncan.

Bear River is averaging 37 points per game and allowing just 10. Duncan has been a pleasant surprise this season passing 32-of-49 (.653) for 534 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Wide receiver Kris Edie accounts for most of those yards with 24 catches for 351 yards and three scores. Both coaches also said senior tight end/linebacker Hunter Cramer will start tonight after exiting early last week.

Overall the Eureka offense has a formula similar to Bear River’s, which favors the run. The makeup of the team is young with 17 juniors, 17 seniors and one sophomore. Also like the Bruins, much of Logger’s O-line and D-line are the youngest players. Junior offensive-defensive lineman Blake Santos could be a challenge to get around or block, the six-foot one-inch 310 pounder will definitely be easy to spot. Juniors Connor Wilson and Jordan Sanders aren’t pushovers either tipping the scale at 270.

With running back Caleb Johnson still out, nursing a collar bone injury, senior Michael Tipton will need to step up for the second consecutive week. His speed will be a key factor against the Logger’s size and maneuverability. The ultimate producer for Bear River has been fullback Brad Botsford. The senior leads the team with 59 carries for 432 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Eureka enters the game with wins over Fortuna, McKinleyville, Del Norte and Arcata. The team’s only loss came in its opener versus a tough Casa Grande squad which is still undefeated. However, aside from the 51-13 loss, the Loggers have outscored their opponents 115-44 for an average margin of victory of 17.75 points. The squad is ranked 37th out of 109 teams in the North Coast Section — a hearty test for Bear River before it heads into Pioneer League Valley play.

To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call 530-477-4234 or email All statistics and rankings were provided by

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