Bruins blow lead, score late to beat Eureka
The Eureka Loggers ran into a buzz saw Friday night at J. David Ramsey Field where Bear River dug deep to chop up the Logger defense late in the fourth quarter and pull out an amazing 27-23 come-from-behind victory.
Once ahead 21-0, the Bruins’ sloppy performance out of the gate in the second half allowed the Loggers to climb their way back into it and score 23 unanswered points. Suddenly trailing 23-21 with absolutely no offensive momentum, Bear River began a drive from its 32-yard line with just over 10 minutes to play.
“It’s exactly what we needed,” said Bruins senior quarterback Braden Duncan, who threw 14-of-22 for 177 yards and two touchdowns. “(Eureka) gave us a freakin’ wake up call.”
Duncan led the Bruin offense down the field, finding senior wide receiver Kris Edie for 11 yards, then Edie again for 7 more. On his next pass, he connected with senior tight end Hunter Cramer for 13 yards. Facing second-and-long from the Eureka 34-yard line, Duncan dropped back, rolling out to his right, and launched a strike over the defenders into the outstreched arms of Edie, who made the grab and darted into the end zone for a 34-yard score. It proved to be the game-winning score.
“I can’t even describe it,” said Edie, who finished with seven receptions for 107 yards and the touchdown. “It’s what I’ve dreamed of since freshman year. I had a little doubt (when Eureka took the lead) and said, ‘This isn’t happening.’ (David) Chorjel stepped up, and leaders came out. We did what we had to do.”
Up 27-23 with 7:06 to play, the Bruins weren’t out of the woods yet. The Loggers still had plenty of time and the firepower to strike again. But with three minutes to play, it was Edie again coming up huge on defense as he hauled in an interception to give Bear River the ball back. It came down to a fourth-and-9 from the Eureka 32-yard line with the Bruins electing to go for it. Duncan dropped back and found a wide open Cramer cutting up the middle of the field.
“I was just hoping the outside linebacker flew out, and he did,” said Cramer. “I had an open lane up the seam and just kept driving — took the first hit and got the yards.”
The 18-yard catch iced the game for Bear River, and it ran out the clock to conclude the adrenaline-pumping show that so many fans got to see. Of course, those who stuck around only through halftime to see who would be crowned this year’s homecoming king and queen certainly missed out.
“We gutted up,” said co-head coach Terry Logue after the win. “Things went in the wrong direction, snowballing — but when you dig down and have Hunter make that catch to end the game — those are the things you want to know your kids can do. We handled adversity, unbelievable plays on both sides of the ball. Eureka was a class act too. It’s going to be a pleasure playing on their field next year.”
Things did go in the wrong direction for the Bruins on one drive in particular. They lined up at their own 26-yard line on first-and-10 and found themselves facing a fourth-and-34 from the 2 before Blake Nielson was whistled for stepping out of bounds on the punt to give the Loggers a safety.
In the second half, Eureka’s offense unleashed itself with 15 carries for 152 yards, which included a 4-yard touchdown run by Alexis Robinson and a 35-yard run by Marcus Finney, who also broke loose for 59 yards to set up Robinson’s score. Yet in the first half, Bear River held the same Logger offense to just 38 yards rushing on 10 touches.
“We faced a different team in the second half,” said assistant coach Mo Barrios. “They woke up after that six-hour bus ride.”
The first half was a whole different ball game with the business-as-usual Bruins bashing their way into the end zone at will. Brad Botsford put the team on the board first with an 18-yard score late in the first quarter. He would finish the evening with 23 carries for 83 hard-earned yards. Michael Tipton had to earn his keep, too, as he ran 11 times for 45 yards.
The second quarter was all Bruins as well with Duncan finding receiver Ryan Wagner for a score on a third-and-goal from the Eureka 22-yard line after penalties and a sack had pushed them back. On the very next play from scrimmage, it was John Voter III with a pick-six on defense, returning the rock 35 yards to the house to give Bear River its 21-0 lead and what appeared to be a lot of momentum heading into the locker room.
Cramer, Voter, Kyle Krogman and Cannon Fetter all had five tackles each on defense to help notch Bear River’s fifth win of the season. The Bruins held Robinson to just 4-of-14 passing for 80 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
“The kids have earned a great experience next week,” added Logue, referring to the battle against 5-0 Colfax. “It’s going to be electric.”
JV: Bear River 32, Eureka 0
The Bruins’ junior varsity squad bounced back this week to send the Loggers back to the woodshed empty-handed as it blanked Eureka 32-0.
Kyle Uclaray had a surreal night, running the football rushing five times for 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Both scores were on explosive plays of 60 and 65 yards and Bear River took a 25-0 lead at the half. Uclaray also finished with four catches for 48 yards, and quarterback Jason Voter went 7-of-12 passing for 89 yards with a 6-yard touchdown toss to Ethan Nichols. Adding to the Bruins’ dominance were David O’Brien, who ran for a 37-yard score, and RJ Rogers, who dashed 21-yards for a touchdown.
Defensively, Bear River was solid with Conner Hollister wrapping up seven tackles. Jon Good and Gunnar Simpson both scooped up fumbles, and Jared Kilgore had a monster sack for a loss of 10 yards.
To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call 530-477-4234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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