PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River hands El Dorado first loss of season
Special to The Union
BRUINS 28 COUGARS 7
BR: Austin Baze 10-yard run (10:43) Landen Clark kick
ED: Chris Volek 16-yard pass from Aaron Golmitz (11:10) extra point good
BR: Stephen Taylor 7-yard run (7:17) extra point blocked
BR: Baze 3-yard run (:32) Peyton Turner 3-yard pass from Bradley Dzioba for 2-pt conversion
BR: Baze 2-yard run (5:33) extra point good
Nothing quite like some home cooking.
The Bear River Bruins put up plenty of points and feasted on the previously undefeated El Dorado Cougars Friday night, winning 28-7 under the lights at J. David Ramsey Field.
Junior Austin Baze ignited the fire in the belly of the Bruins’ offensive attack, mowing over defenders like blades of grass to find pay dirt three times. His first touchdown came just over a minute into the game thanks to a fumble recovery at the El Dorado 17-yard line by Bear River’s Josh Zimmer. Baze blasted into the end zone from 10-yards out to give the Bruins an early 7-0 edge.
“Just kept my head low, kept low to the ground, just wanted to score,” said Baze, who ended the night with 13 touches for 71 yards and a trio of touchdown runs from 10, 3 and 2 yards. “I wanted the team to win so I ran as hard as I could.”
Bear River stirred the pot and licked the spoon all night long with its dominant running attack, piling up 192 yards on 38 carries with four rushing touchdowns. Junior running back Stephen Taylor left Cougar defenders clawing at his cleats all game, after El Dorado drove 80 yards and knotted the game 7-7, Taylor found his stride, slicing his way up field for big gains on Bear River’s 69-yard scoring drive to regain the lead, 13-7.
“It was definitely the O-line,” said Taylor, who led the Bruins with 92 yards rushing on 13 attempts, including a 7-yard score. “They really stepped up. The wing backs, running backs, everyone just did a great job blocking. The defense stepped up huge. (El Dorado) is a great offense, they were scoring a lot of points, 4-0, but we just stepped up and believed in ourselves. I just came off the motion and looked for the cutback lane. Our full back Colton Wood did a great job blocking out on their D-end.”
After exchanging a couple of punts and winning the field position battle, Bear River took over at El Dorado’s 32-yard line late in the second quarter and was able to capitalize on the short-field opportunity. Senior quarterback Bradley Dzioba hooked up with Luke Baggett twice to move the ball down inside the 10-yard line and Baze took care of the rest, giving the Bruins a 21-7 halftime advantage after a successful two-point conversion.
“We were watching film and we saw what we did wrong and assessed what we could have done,” explained Baze. “This week we really focused. Last week we felt like we were really unorganized before the game. This week we were on point, everyone had their head in the game, we were just ready to go out and win, and we really wanted to win and just brought it to them. It was the best teamwork I’ve seen out of our team all year.”
Receiving the kickoff to open the second half, Bear River put together another impressive scoring drive, going 67 yards in 14 plays using more than 6 minutes of clock, capped off with another Baze plunge to push the lead to 28-7. From there the Bruin defense stood tall.
“We had Crazy Carl here, so when Crazy Carl is in the house good things happen,” said Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie. “I’m so happy for them. It’s one of those things. We really harped on doing all the little things throughout the week to get it done on Friday and they bought in. It’s nice when a plan comes together. The kids played really well tonight. (El Dorado) is a good football team, 4-0, they beat Ponderosa, who’s always a pretty good football team. It’s a nice win for our kids, for our program.”
Dzioba finished the game 7-of-9 passing for 46 yards, with Luke Baggett hauling in three catches for 25 yards followed by Taylor with one for 14 yards and Solomon Branch with three grabs for seven.
Defensively, the Bruins did not let up, holding the Cougars well-balanced spread offense to 122 yards rushing on 30 attempts and silenced quarterback Aaron Golmitz, who passed 16-of-24 for just 92 yards and one touchdown. The Cougars also let their frustration show, as the team was whistled for a few 15-yard penalties.
Baze led the Bear River defense with 11 tackles, sophomore Garrett Pratt had 10 tackles, followed by Shane Flores with eight and Zimmer along with Bryn Tyler each wrapping up six. Zimmer also blocked a punt in the first quarter, however, the Bruins were unable to take advantage of it.
Bear River (2-2) will be put to the test on the road next week when they face Sutter.
JV: Bear River 21 El Dorado 8
The Cougars jumped out front in the first quarter 8-0, but the Bruins buckled down to score 21 unanswered points for a dominating victory. Hunter Daniels plowed in for a 1-yard score in the first quarter and Austin Slining gave Bear River the go-ahead score on a 1-yard plunge of his own before the half. Slining added a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Around the PVL
In other action by Pioneer Valley League teams, Colfax improved to 4-1 overall with a 40-6 victory over Wheatland. Colfax rushed for 211 yards with Mason Ahrens and Marc Avila scoring two touchdowns each and quarterback Austin Weir passed 143 yards in the win. Center also improved to 4-1 this season, beating Vallejo, 48-0. Lincoln is now 2-3 after topping Casa Roble 28-15. Placer dropped to 1-4 after a 56-14 loss to Vista del Lago. And, Foothill (1-4) sits at the bottom of the standing with Placer after losing to Cordova, 56-14.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.