Bruin football off to Golden Sierra to renew ‘Battle of the Bears’ |

Bruin football off to Golden Sierra to renew ‘Battle of the Bears’

It’s been 13 years since the last “Battle of the Bears” and the Bruins’ Scott Savoie can’t wait to get the once-fierce rivalry game with Golden Sierra jumpstarted again tonight.

“We’re both excited about playing again,” said Savoie, Bear River’s co-head coach, referring to a conversation with Grizzlies’ head coach Terry Cox. The rivalry was fierce in the late ’80s to mid ’90s, he said.

“I look forward to a hard-knocking football game,” said Savoie, whose Bruins bring a 2-0 record into the nonleague road game in Garden Valley.

That tale of hard knocks should emanate from the Grizzlies’ (0-2) running game.

“It’s power football, absolutely,” Savoie said. On a number of Golden Sierra’s run plays so far this season, the Grizzlies quarterback Nick Highberger has served as the leading blocker, he said.

Grizzlies’ running back Jim Hansen has tallied 262 yards on 48 carries through two games. The next closest ball carrier, fullback Jordan Winje has 107 yards on 18 carries.

The Bruins also need to be ready for the double-wing set, Savoie said.

“It’s physical, physical football,” Savoie said. “That’s who Terry Cox is.”

Hopefully, Savoie said, Bear River won’t get bogged down in penalties like they have in the first two games.

“We’re committing too many costly mistakes in terms of penalties,” Savoie said. “In game one, we were able to overcome the penalties with big plays. We did that to a point (in the second game.) We’re not going to be able to overcome them in every game.

“Offensive execution needs to get better. We need to work on our feet and stay engaged in blocks.”

One of the Bruins’ key offensive weapons, wide receiver Joey Reina, didn’t play last week because of an injured ankle. It will be a game-time decision whether he plays tonight, Savoie said.

Tonight’s game kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Sports Writer Greg Moberly via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4234.

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