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Bruins show depth, athleticism in win

Bear River quarterback Braden Duncan rolls out during a game earlier this season.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

Friday night’s 36-12 trouncing of the River Valley Falcons was no fluke and now that the undefeated Bear River Bruins (4-0) have shown they can dominate a tough opponent — the sky seems to be the limit.

Going into the game there was concern about injuries and who would step up, but Bear River answered the call with three stellar performances coming out of the backfield from seniors Michael Tipton and Brad Botsford and junior John Voter III. The three combined for 263 yards rushing on 43 touches, an average of 6.12 yards per carry.

Tipton was the most captivating of the bunch, hitting the edge with speed and turning up field as he maneuvered between defenders. His longest run was 48 yards and came on the Bruins’ final scoring drive. Teammates all watched his shake n’ bake moves during the instant replay on the big screen provided down on the field for this “Game of the Week,” provided by TouchDown Productions.



Voter also deserved a lot of credit for running the ball effectively. He came inches from scoring a touchdown at the end of 10-yard run where he stretched out and appeared to break the goal line. Botsford would bulldoze his way in on the very next play.

Quarterback Braden Duncan also showed a new side of his agility that hasn’t been seen. Duncan, who was pressured in the pocket more so than previous games, tucked the ball and ran on two occasions. Both runs came on third down plays in the same dive and both times his athleticism led him to pick up first downs. He scrambled for 18 yards on a third-and-seven and 12 yards on a third-and-five. Tipton would cap off the drive with a 3-yard score to push the Bruins lead to 33-12.




T.J. Dove, who had been the talk of River Valley, scored two touchdowns but only had one breakaway play. Overall, Bear River kept him in check and its physicality on defense led to Dove icing up early as he flew to the bench with 1:28 to play in the third quarter. The Bear River defense also scooped up two fumbles and snatched an interception. Voter, David Chorjel and Canon Fetter had some absolutely smothering stops on the defensive front as well.

Of course it wasn’t all peaches n’ cream for the Bruins. Senior tight end Hunter Cramer took a hit after catching a pass and never returned. The severity of his injury was still unknown after the game, but co-head coach Terry Logue described it as what he thought to be a “hyper-extension.” Although senior wide receiver Kris Edie has been Duncan’s go to receiver, the loss of a sure-handed athlete like Cramer would sure be hard to swallow.

The Bruins will look to their winning streak alive Friday during their homecoming game when the Eureka Loggers (4-1) roll into town.

Around the Pioneer Valley League

Yuba City 48, Placer 21

The Hillman took to the road Friday to face a strong Honkers team, and returned with another high scoring loss.

Yuba City took a 35-0 lead into halftime and never let up, beating Placer with a solid run game and efficient passing attack.

On the ground, the Honkers ate up 312 yards, led by Omar Herrera with 173 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.

Quarterback Isaac Lessard was precise for Yuba City hitting on 7-of-8 passes for 146 yards.

The Hillman are 1-3 this season and have been outscored 187-131 by their opponents. Placer will now gear up for Woodcreek.

Lincoln 54, Mesa verde 20

The Fighting Zebra’s came out kicking against Mesa Verde and did not let up, beating the Mavericks by 34.

Lincoln tallied most their points on the ground, scoring six rushing touchdowns and totaling 245 yards rushing. Lincoln’s Dane Stimbert ran the ball 14 times for 167 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Edy Cobleigh punched in three touchdowns on 12 carries, and Landon Croisant also rumbled in for a score.

Lincoln’s defense was staunch, giving up just 88 yards on the ground and four through the air. Lincoln is 3-1 with Oakmont on the horizon.

Rio Linda 17, Center 0

The Cougars had their first slip up of the season Friday, losing to Rio Linda on the road, 17-0.

Center had just come off a 14-0 victory over River Valley the week before, but was unable to manage any points against the Knights.

On the season Center is 3-1 with Vanden left on its non-league schedule, before opening the PVL season against Lincoln Oct. 11.

Foothill 26, Natomas 0

The Mustangs bucked Natomas Friday for their first win of the season.

Foothill erupted for 26 points against the Night Hawks and held them without a point. Foothill had scored only 28 points coming into the game.

The Mustangs are now 1-4 with a bye this week.

Colfax (Bye)

To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call 530-477-4234 or email bshepard@theunion.com.


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