Bear River’s hard work paying off
The final whistle in the Bear River football team’s 44-14 homefield win over Mesa Verde of Citrus Heights Oct. 25 had long since blown, yet, Bruin head coach Scott Savoie still had a silly grin plastered all over his face.
He was almost giddy.
And why shouldn’t he have been?
On offense, his Bruins (6-1 overall, 4-0 Pioneer Valley League) got touchdowns from five different players en route to 411 yards of total offense.
The Bear River passing attack was on target with a pair of Josh Rumsey touchdown passes.
The junior struck first on the game’s opening drive with a 15-yard pass to Scott Keever.
Rumsey hit Bryan Hart on a middle screen on Bear River’s next possession to raise his season touchdown total to seven.
Junior halfback Cody Yeager, who scored on runs of 68 yards and one yard, upped his league leading rushing total to 926 yards with a career-high 220 yards on the night.
Backup fullback Chad Anderson also got into the act with the first touchdown of this varsity career from short range.
“Our guys got physical up front, definitely. We found something (in our running game) that they just couldn’t stop and we kept going back to it. The line blocked it and Cody ran wild,” Savoie said.
The Bruins grind-it-out ground game also paid dividends on the defensive side of the ball.
“(Their explosive running game) was a big concern of ours going into the game. We wanted to keep their running backs off the field as much as possible. So, ball controlling a team with their kind of athleticism and speed is super important,” Savoie added.
The Maverick (5-2, 2-1) running back trio of Wes Wooten, Nick Fisher and De’ Angelo Wilson – who entered the game with 14 rushing touchdowns between them – were held to a single score.
Bear River’s defense also turned in a prime time performance.
Mesa Verde’s offense, which averaged 30.8 points a game in its six previous contests, scored on its first possession, but that was it.
Anderson and Wil Thomas – who returned a Mesa Verde punt 51 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter led the defense with nine tackles each.
The Maverick’s only other score came on special teams thanks to a Chris Cavalier 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
“The number one thing is our kids worked really hard over the vacation. We met everyday last week at 1:30 in the afternoon and they didn’t leave here until 6:15 that night. I’m sure my kids would have liked to have a little bit more of a life last week, but if we want to make a run at it, this was the kind of game we needed to win. They definitely put in the work,” Savoie added.
Bear River will travel to Fairfield to face Vanden 7:30 p.m. Friday.
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As far as experts go, The Union’s “experts” have not exactly lived up to the billing so far this season.