PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River hits road to face league foe Center |

PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River hits road to face league foe Center

Dave Mastrella runs the ball during a game against Placer Oct. 23. Mastrella and the Bruins head to Antelope tonight to face Pioneer Valley League foe Center.
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union

Know & Go

What: Bear River (7-1) at Center (4-4)

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

Where: Center High School, 3111 Center Ct Ln, Antelope

Follow along: On Twitter @TheUnionSports or online at

The Bruins have been here before.

Similar to last year, the Bear River football team is licking its wounds after their first Pioneer Valley League loss of the season with the always tough Center Cougars on the horizon.

“We got to do it on the road,” Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie said after last week’s loss to Placer. “We got Center and Lincoln. Both tough, but we’re going to worry about Center right now. We’ll pick our kids up and take a trip down to Antelope on Friday and get after it. That’s all you can do, you got to pick up and move ahead.”

Last season the Bruins and Cougars played a classic in the rain and mud at J. David Ramsey Stadium that ended with Bear River on top, 7-6. The Bruins would throttle Lincoln in the 2014 season finale and go on to win the Sac-Joaquin Section D-V championship.

This season, the Bruins head to Antelope and the forecast calls for clear skies.

The Cougars (4-4, 0-3 PVL) limp into the matchup on the heels of three-straight PVL losses, most recently a 42-35 loss to Colfax after leading 28-14 in the second quarter. Another league loss would eliminate them from playoff contention.

Early in the year Center’s defense was impressive, allowing just 8.6 points per game through the first three weeks, but since then the Cougars have allowed 31.2 points per game, including 42 points to its last two opponents. The Cougars have been especially poor against PVL teams, allowing 39 points per game in league play.

The Bruins (7-1, 2-1 PVL) boast the best defense in the PVL, allowing just 16.1 points per game this season, and 15.5 points per game to PVL opponents.

The Bear River defense is led by a group of talented seniors in linebacker Gunner Simpson, linebacker Connor Hollister, defensive lineman Jimmy Vaughn, defensive lineman Landen Clark and safety Dave Mastrella.

On the offensive end, the Bruins have been hampered with injures to multiple running backs, but still manage 28.6 points per game.

The Bruins have the ability to beat opponents on the ground and through the air. Bear River’s strong, veteran offensive line has kept the Bruins’ offense moving all season despite a multitude of injuries to starting running backs.

Senior quarterback Jason Voter has also shown great improvement from a season ago. Voter has thrown for 962 yards and eight touchdowns to just three interceptions.

Bear River has been impressive on the road this season, going 4-0 and earning victories over Pacheco, Union Mine, Escalon and Foothill.

Despite the Bruins’ home loss to Placer last week, Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue remained optimistic and said he was proud of his team’s effort and excited for his team’s future.

“I’m excited because if we can stay together and play like we’ve been playing this team has a big future ahead of it,” Logue said. “It’s still great to be a Bruin and we’re going after another ring.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Center High School in Antelope.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email Brian Shepard contributed to this report.

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