Early special teams woes doom Bruins
Bear River’s coaching staff hoped to see where their Bruins stacked up against one of the top Pioneer Valley League contenders Friday night, when defending section champion Whitney rolled out the welcome mat.
But the Bruins might still be wondering this morning, after a pair of early special teams mistakes put Bear River behind the 8-ball from the get-go. The Wildcats capitalized on both errors, resulting in short touchdown drives, enroute to a 32-6 blowout of the Bruins.
“I’m very disappointed in our effort … very disappointed,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue.
The Wildcats (4-2 overall, 2-1 PVL) came up with the first big play of the game at the seven minute mark of the first quarter. On fourth-and-21, Whitney’s Kyle Dilorenzo blocked a Bear River punt and the Wildcats were set up for business at the Bruin 21-yard line.
“Honestly?” Bruin co-head coach Scott Savoie said. “That was on us, the coaching staff. We had a guy out sick and we were attempting to punt with 10 guys on the field. We didn’t catch it as a coaching staff and the kids didn’t let us know on the sideline. So that’s on us.”
Four plays later, after Whitney’s Connor Riordan ran twice for a total of 19 yards, Whitney led 6-0 on a three-yard touchdown run by Isaiah Moore.
Bad luck struck again early in the second quarter when a bad snap on the next punt attempt cost the Bruins a 10-yard loss and left the Wildcats with first-and-10 at the Bear River 33-yard line.
Eight plays later, Bear River had forced the Wildcats into a fourth-and-two situation at the Bruin 14-yard line. Wildcat coach Mike Gimenez chose not only to go for the first down, but the touchdown with a play-action pass.
Quarterback Josh Ladas lofted the ball to the right corner of the end zone, where Whitney’s Jimmy Feyster leapt over Bear River defensive back Chris Carcido for the touchdown.
In all Whitney had to move the ball a total of 59 yards for its first two scores of the night and led 12-0 with 7:57 to go in the first half.
“We gave them two short fields and then they dominated the game from there,” Logue said. “You can’t do that against good football teams.”
The Wildcats rushed for 119 yards in the first half, taking a 19-0 advantage into the break. But it the second half that saw Whitney establish its ground game in impressive fashion. The Wildcats rolled up 213 more rushing yards in the second half for a total of 332. Moore led the team with 149 rushing yards on the night.
Meanwhile, the Bruins managed a mere seven rushing yards in the first half and added only 69 more in the final 24 minutes. The Bruins threw for another 72 yards on the night.
Colby Angus was Bear River’s leading rusher with 43 yards, all of which came after the halftime break.
“We just made way too many mistakes offensively to be successful,” Savoie said. “We had some extremely untimely penalties on offense. We didn’t get it done. We flat out didn’t get it done.
“We had too many mistakes to move the ball on a defensive squad like theirs.”
The Bruins (3-3, 0-2) totaled nine first downs on the night, including three that came via Whitney penalties. Bear River senior Cole White was limited to 25 yards on seven carries, while classmate Johnny Jewett had 15 yards on five totes.
White also completed 3-of-6 passes out of the Wildcat formation for 32 yards with an interception. Bear River sophomore quarterback James Harris was 6-of-15 passing for 40 yards with an interception and a 6-yard touchdown pass to Joey Reyna as time expired in the game.
Reyna had four catches for 33 yards, while Jewett added four catches for 32 more.
Whitney’s Matt Smithson came up with both interception’s for the Wildcat defense on the night.
JV: Bear River 35, Whitney 15
Bear River’s junior varsity rushed for 213 second-half yards en route to running the Wildcats off their own field and moving to 6-0 on the season.
“We came out flat and didn’t get it going until the second half,” said Bear River coach Chris Bean. “In the second half, though, the leaders stepped up.”
Johnny Cassar scored on a 71-yard touchdown run and Trevor McGee added a 46-yard run for a score, as two of the biggest plays of the night shut the door on the Wildcats.
McGee had a total of three touchdowns in the win, also returning a punt 65 yards for a score and adding a 10-yard touchdown run. He totaled 89 rushing yards on five attempts.
Josh Toft also had a 10-yard touchdown run for the Bruins.
Linebacker Jimmy Bamburg led the defense with 12 tackles, including a quarterback sack. Nick Medenwald had
six stops at nose tackle.
“This team’s talented,” Bean said. “There are a lot of weapons here on the offensive side and that’s the most points our defense had given up all year.
“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I feel like this is where we should be. Although, we’ve got a heck of a game coming next Friday against Placer. I’m sure they’re going to come into that game at 6-0, too.”
Frosh: Whitney 28,
Bear River 15
Dillon Smith threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Cody Heard and also rushed for a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to lift Bear River’s freshman squad over Whitney Thursday.
Heard led the defense with four solo tackles, nine assists and a recovered fumble. Smith also recovered a fumble on the defensive side of the ball. Michael Raigoza had eight tackles, including two solo stops Eli Allen had three solos and three assists, while Zack Winter had nine stops, including two solo tackles.
Travis McKnight led the Bruins with 93 rushing yards, while Heard totaled 77 yards.
Smith completed 4-of-8 passes for 75 yards, including 70 yards to Heard.
Whitney 32, Bear River 6
BR (3-3) 0 0 0 6 – 6
W (4-2) 6 13 0 13 – 32
W – Isaiah Moore 3 run (KIck failed), 5:35.
W – Jimmy Feyster 14 pass from Josh Ladas (Run failed), 7:57.
W – Moore 31 run (Corey Palin kick), 3:46.
W – Ladas 45 run (Kick failed), 8:27.
W- Connor Riordan 34 run (Palin kick), 3:44.
BR – Joey Reyna 6 pass from James Harris (no attempt), :00.0.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.