PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River blasts Union Mine in home opener
Special to The Union
BRUINS 40, DIAMONDBACKS 0
BR: Stephen Taylor 44-yard pass from Bradley Dzioba (10:21) extra point good
BR: Clark 1-yard fumble recovery (4:26) extra point good
BR: Kyle Wooner 15-yard punt block recovery (2:54) extra point no good
BR: Peyton Turner 24-yard pass from Dzioba (10:35) extra point good
BR: Calder Kunde 5-yard pass from Dzioba (11:12) extra point good
BR: Austin Baze 90-yard run (9:18) extra point no good
Nothing could stop the Bear River Bruins football team under the lights in their home opener as they lit up the Union Mine Diamondbacks in a 40-0 rout Friday.
Three touchdowns in the first quarter and the Bruins never looked back.
“We underestimated Orland a little bit, but we knew not to underestimate Union Mine,” said Bear River junior fullback Austin Baze, who added an exclamation point to the night with a 90-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. “We knew they were going to come out and play tough and we were ready for it.”
Baze also stepped up on defense, leading the team with 13 tackles with two sacks for a loss of 18 yards and blocked a punt, which Kyle Wooner scooped up and took 15 yards for the score to make it 20-0.
“Offense, defense, special teams made big plays, back up players made big plays,” said Bruins co-head coach Terry Logue. “It was a total team effort. We set the tempo early on defense and the offense cashed in early.”
Union Mine received the opening kick and opted to go for it on fourth-and-inches, but Bear River stuffed the run and took over at the Diamondbacks 44 yard line.
Bear River senior quarterback Bradley Dzioba tossed his first of three touchdowns, hooking up with junior Stephen Taylor for 44 yards on the Bruins first offensive play of the game.
“When you spend as much time with the kids as we do you can tell when they’re ready and when they’re not,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “We were in Fog Land last week and this week we weren’t.”
After shutting down the Diamondbacks on fourth down near midfield again the next series, Bear River took over and marched to the goal line where Dzioba fumbled, but Landen Clark recovered for the score, extending the lead to 14-0.
“We got our offense down, firing on all cylinders,” said Clark, who also wrapped up seven tackles on defense. “(Dzioba) was on fire throwing all those touchdowns. He’s improved a lot over the summer and I think he’ll just keep getting better and better each day.”
In the second quarter, Dzioba found senior Peyton Turner out in the flat who turned on the jets up the sideline for a 24-yard score, which put the Bruins ahead 27-0 at the half.
“Last week we really didn’t have this feeling,” said Turner. “That loss just really opened our eyes more. The best part of the game is that everyone got to touch the football, everyone got to score. It was just the best team win you could have.”
Coming out of the locker room the Bruins showed no signs of cooling off, as Dzioba led a 49-yard scoring drive capped off with a 5-yard middle slant pass to sophomore Calder Kunde.
Dzioba finished the evening 13-of-16 passing for 144 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor hauled in three catches for 52 yards and a score, followed by Kunde, who had five receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown, and Turner, who had the 24-yarder.
As a team the Bruins rushed 24 times for 173 yards, with Baze leading the way with 125 yards on two attempts.
Defensively, Bear River stood tall, holding Union Mine to just 102 yards of total offense. The team was 8-of-16 passing for 62 yards with an interception, nabbed by Bear River’s Wyatt Bosworth. On the Ground Union Mine had 40 yards on 39 attempts.
The Diamondbacks threatened to score in the fourth quarter, but fumbled inside the Bruins 5-yard line and Clark recovered to keep the shut out intact.
Bear River (1-1) now enters its bye week and will look to keep it rolling Sept. 16 when it welcomes Marysville to J. David Ramsey Field.
The Bruins will take next Friday night off and enjoy their bye week.
“I’m excited about that (bye week),” said Savoie. “We’ve been very, very successful over that bye week. It’s actually a little earlier than I’d prefer, but that’s the way it fell. You know, we get two weeks to work on an opponent and I think that’s an advantage. Thing is, almost everybody has a bye week so when you have it, it works for you, when you don’t sometimes it works against you. I’m excited because Marysville is a good football team. They’re off to a really good start and I think they have one of their best classes they’ve had in a while, so we’re expecting a game in two weeks. Looking forward to it.”
The Bruins stingy D pitched a shutout in its home opener, beating Union Mine 11-0. Kicker Connor Castornia got Bear River (2-0) on the board with a field goal in the second quarter and running back Austin Slining broke free for a 25-yard scamper to score a touchdown in the third quarter. Tre Maronic plowed in for the 2-pt conversion.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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