Prep football: Bear River falls to Justin-Siena in home opener
Football roared back into the foothills Friday night at J. David Ramsey Stadium.
Unfortunately for Bear River and the Bruination faithful at its home opener, all the roaring came from the visiting Justin-Siena Braves, who powered to a 25-0 shutout victory.
“Last week was hard, this week was finally a week to get in the rhythm,” said co-head coach Tanner Mathias, whose defense had its hands full with a Braves offense that amassed 469 yards of total offense, featuring a pair of 100-plus yard rushing performances. “We definitely cleaned up a lot of mistakes, but obviously we have more to clean up, so we’ll just work towards fixing those next week and have a better game next week.”
Justin-Siena didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard as they went 69 yards in seven plays on their opening drive and capped it with a 3-yard plunge into the end zone by junior Roman Williams. He would add a second touchdown in the third quarter to finish the night with a pair of scores.
Offensively the Bruins struggled to get much going, finding themselves inside the Braves’ 20 yard line on a couple of occasions, but came away empty both times. As a team, the Bruins rushed for 85 yards on 29 carries, managed only one passing completion for positive yardage and also yielded two interceptions.
“We just got to work and get better,” said co-head coach Mike Profumo after the tough loss. “We’re just not, simple, we’re not executing. We’re missing assignments on every play. It’s football. It doesn’t work if you don’t do your job. It’s that simple.”
Senior quarterback Zachary Zurowski led the Braves passing, going 7-for-14 for 151 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown completion and an interception. He also sliced up the field for 67 yards on eight carries and added a 14-yard rushing touchdown to put the Braves ahead 13-0 at the half.
Bear River did take a crack at a 51-yard field goal late in the first half, but a high snap led to a broken play and turnover on downs.
Senior running back Caden Parlett moved the chains early and often for Justin-Siena, banging his way for 136 yards on 19 touches. In the second half it was junior Emerys Davies sharing the load, racking up 104 yards on just 11 attempts.
Justin-Siena ended the game first-and-goal at the Bruins 4-yard line.
Defensively for Bear River, junior Anders Torgerson led the team with 14 tackles, followed by Ryder Holcomb with seven and Micah Patton and Tyler Brenes with five each. Sophomore Tyler Heuseveldt snatched an interception and wrapped up four tackles.
Bear River (0-2) will be back under its lights again next week for Homecoming when it hosts Burbank (Sacramento).
JV: BEAR RIVER 27 JUSTIN-SIENA 26
In the early evening showdown, the Bear River and Justin-Siena junior varsity teams put on a thriller with the Bruins coming out on top with a late goal line stand.
Austin Mertens broke up a would-be touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal with 15 seconds to seal the victory for Bear River (3-0).
In a classic seesaw battle, the Braves took a 26-21 lead after capping off a scoring drive in the fourth quarter.
Blake Simning and the Bruins bounced back with a score of their own to take a narrow 27-26 lead, which they would not relinquish. Simning tallied three touchdowns and Kaden Cavolt added one as well.
JS: Roman Williams 3-yard run (PAT no good) 8:59
JS: Zachary Zurowski 14-yard run (Cesar Evina kick) 3:02
JS: Robert Sangiacomo 41-yard pass from Zurowski (PAT no good) 7:18
JS: Williams 6-yard run (PAT no good) :14
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to The Union
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It was Homecoming at Hooper Stadium Friday night and the festivities were in full effect