PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River falls to Foothill (PHOTO GALLERY)
Special to The Union
SACRAMENTO — For the first time in a decade the Bear River football Bruins found themselves on the losing end of a Pioneer Valley League game with Foothill.
The Mustangs and their horsepower proved too much a task as they slipped tackles and out-dueled the Bruins for 40-17 victory Friday night.
“Gotta give Foothill credit first of all,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue, whose team kept itself in contention early, trailing 20-14 at the half. “They made the big plays. Their quarterback had two long runs. We had them fourth-and-8. We had them way down on their own 10-yard line, third-and-12 or 14 or whatever it was, and they made big, long plays. They made a kickoff return right after we scored a beautiful touchdown, but still that goal line stand in the first half, we had a chance to come out and take the lead and just didn’t get it done.”
Right from the get-go Foothill would not be intimidated. On the Mustangs’ opening drive they faced fourth-and-8 from their own 31-yard line and moved the chains. They went on to score a few plays later on a 44-yard sprint by sophomore quarterback Joel Powell.
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Bear River managed a couple of first half scores, a 50-yard burst around the left edge from senior quarterback Colton Jenkins and later a 6-yard connection on fourth and short from Jenkins to Gavin Jackson to cut the deficit to 14-7, but Foothill answered back and stole momentum with it.
“I thought we had a very competitive first half,” said Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie. “Shoot, went in at halftime definitely still feeling like we were in it and a couple things happened in the third quarter that just really changed the momentum of the game. Obviously the big penalty that we had there killed us. We had a couple actually, big penalties that killed us. The tide changed in the third quarter, like coach (Logue) said, hats off to Foothill.”
The Mustangs broke loose on more than one occasion with three runs of 40 yards or more, and added a 75-yard kickoff return to push its lead to 20-7 midway through the second quarter.
Trailing 20-14 in the third quarter, Bear River took possession to start the half and worked its way down to the Mustang 43 before self-destructing and dashing any hopes of a comeback with costly penalties. The offense just couldn’t find its rhythm.
Meanwhile Foothill kept the Bear River defense on its heels much of the night, rushing 34 times for 304 yards and five touchdowns.
For the Bruins rushing attack, it was Jenkins leading the charge with 83 yards on eight touches and a score, followed by sophomore Jaime Vargas with 68 yards on 12 attempts, and Ryder Kiggins who banged his way for 52 yards on 11 carries. Senior Zach Fink contributed 24 yards on four attempts before an early exit and Jacob Ayestaran chipped in tallying 16 yards on five attempts.
The passing attack wasn’t working well for the Bruins either as they struggled to piece together long drives and move the sticks. A combination of good coverage and missed opportunities made for a frustrating night as Jenkins finished 3-of-14 for 10 yards and a touchdown.
Junior Cade Torgerson scored the Bruins only points of the second half with a late 36-yard field goal.
Defensively, Jenkins led the Bruins with eight tackles, followed by Vargas, who tallied a sack, Waylon Spence and Caleb Hurst, who had six tackles each. Warren Davis tallied five and Fink finished with four and blocked a field goal just before halftime.
The quest for the postseason heats up when Bear River (6-2, 1-2 PVL) returns home next week for a contest with rival Colfax.
JV: BEAR RIVER 27, FOOTHILL 6
The Bruins JV squad (5-1, 3-0 PVL) remained perfect in PVL play with an impressive 27-6 win at Foothill. Wyatt Baze got the Bruins on the board first with a short touchdown run. Jacob Vaughan followed soon after with his own touchdown plunge and Devin Ortiz closed things out with a pair of touchdown runs to put the game away as the defense tamed the Mustangs down the stretch.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
SCORE BY QUARTER
MUSTANGS 40, BRUINS 17
F: Joel Powell 44-yard run (Abdul Sediqi kick) 6:52
F: Powell 14-yard run (Sediqi kick) :09
BR: Colton Jenkins 50-yard run (Cade Torgerson kick) 6:12
F: No. 21, 75-yard kick return (PAT no good) 5:47
BR: Gavin Jackson 6-yard pass from Jenkins (Torgerson kick) 2:41
F: Dae’vonnie Williams 11-yard run (Sediqi kick) 7:06
F: Williams 3-yard run (PAT no good) 1:36
F: Powell 40-yard run (Sediqi kick) 9:59
BR: Torgerson 36-yard FG 4:23
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