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Bruins face emotional game tonight

With heavy hearts and a symbolic patch to remind the team and their fans of fallen teammate Justin Butler, Bear River enters play tonight against River Valley in uncharted territory.

“I just don’t want them to feel if they lose the game they are letting Justin down,” said co-head coach Terry Logue. “If they get out on the field and do the absolute best they can then that’s a great healing process.”

Butler died early Monday morning at his Lake of the Pines home after apparently playing what is known as “the choking game.”



No matter what happens on the field, the kids “will certainly have enough negative feelings for a while,” Logue said about the sadness from Butler’s death.

“I’ve been coaching 37 years and I’ve never had anything like this happen,” Logue said. “It’s been a difficult week.”




Still, when Bruins players step onto the field with their No. 8 patch, honoring Butler, covering up one of the bear paws on the their helmets, Logue doesn’t anticipate coaching any differently.

“We’ll stick to the normal pregame routine,” Logue said. “It’ll be pretty much the same.”

“(River Valley) is a very good football team, with an excellent offensive line, excellent backs and receivers,” Logue said. Their defense likes to put pressure on the quarterback, he added.

He expects the Falcons (3-1) to run the ball twice as much as they throw it.

In order to have more success tonight, Logue said the Bruins will need a more consistent offense and the defense will need to avoid giving up big plays.

“We moved the ball well ( in a 35-7 loss to Woodcreek the previous week), but we didn’t get in the endzone (enough),” Logue said. “Defensively, we gave up big plays.”

The Falcons are led by Dustin Terrell who is averaging 76 yards per game rushing. He has 28 carries for 304 yards.

Bear River also will have to watch out for Jordan Pankey and Troy Thomason in the backfield. Pankey has 133 yards on 22 carries. Thomason has 217 yards on 24 carries.

The Bruins could see a lot of Terrell, as he’s also a leader on defense. He has five sacks for a total loss of 47 yards in four games.

Enrique Casamiro leads the Falcons with 8.3 tackles per game.

On the Bruins end, they’ve been led by Sam Houston’s 317 yards on 55 carries.

Jimmy Bamburg leads Bear River with 23 tackles, 13 solo.

In recent weeks, the Bruins have struggled to get the passing game going. Quarterback James Harris is 16-for-29 has thrown for 257 yards.

This is the first meeting between River Valley and Bear River. The Falcons play in Tri-County League.

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


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