Bruins back on road for ‘big-time’ foe
The good news for Bear River fans is that Woodcreek will not have James Nunley in its lineup when the Timberwolves take to their home turf tonight against the unbeaten Bruins for a nonleague showdown.
The bad news is the T’wolves have a trio of players capable of replacing the graduated star running back, who rushed for 3,165 yards and 27 touchdowns over the past two seasons, including 449 yards and 6 TDs that came in two games against Bear River.
And, of course, Woodcreek will be looking to settle the score with Bear River, which beat the T’wolves 35-34 at J. David Ramsey Stadium last year.
“This team plays Del Oro. They play Rocklin, they play Granite Bay, and they play Nevada Union,” Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue told his Bruins in closing practice Wednesday. “You’re their easy game!”
“They’re an SFL (Sierra Foothill League) team. They beat Del Oro two years in a row,” Logue said later in the locker room. “That’s a big-time football team we’re going over to play in their yard.
“But if you want to make a statement and want to be considered as one of the top teams in the area, you’ve got to beat them on their own field.”
That will be easier said than done, considering the kind of numbers Woodcreek (2-1) has put up offensively since stumbling out of the gate in a 28-21 loss to Lincoln, Bear River’s Pioneer Valley League rival, in week one. The T’wolves bounced back with a 46-35 win at Casa Roble, followed by last week’s 41-20 victory at Oakmont.
Senior Blake Cervantes, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 205-pound back, has rushed for 432 yards and two touchdowns, including a 220-yard game against Casa Roble. Quarterback Shaun Mikes, a 5-11 junior, has completed 21-of-38 passes for six touchdowns and one interception. Brandon Whitebear, the T’wolves’ 6-2 tight end, has eight catches for 215 yards and three scores.
“They do a lot of different stuff,” Bruin co-head coach Scott Savoie said. “They run multiple formations. They throw the ball. They run the ball. They’re pretty wide open offensively.
“I’m going to just say it. We don’t have a chance to win this game unless we play better than we have played so far. This is the best team we will have played so far. And if we’re going to have any chance to win, we just have to play better in all phases of the game.”
The Bruins (3-0) have been good with their ground game, led by senior Sam Houston’s 317 yards and six touchdowns, along with junior Josh Toft’s 172 yards and a score.
And through the air, junior quarterback James Harris has completed 16-of-29 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Stepping in at wideout for the injured Joey Reina, who opened with seven catches – including the game-winner – for 138 yards and three touchdowns in a week one win over Cordova, has been Harley Sauers. The 6-3 junior now leads the team with nine catches.
Defensively, Bear River is led by junior linebacker Jimmy Bamburg’s 23 tackles, while senior Alex Rea has 22 stops through three games.
Contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 477-4240.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Grass Valley native Brad Sweet drove past the competition and into victory lane last week, snapping his longest winless streak of the season.