PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River outlasts Sutter, 21-14 |

PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River outlasts Sutter, 21-14

Bear River's Jason Voter drops back to pass during a game against Sutter earlier this season at J. David Ramsey Stadium.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

Score by Quarter

First quarter

S: Tyler Reynolds 13-yard pass from Clay Carter (2:51) Nick Schenken kick

Second quarter

BR: Ben O’Lena 57-yard pass from Jason Voter (3:48) PAT blocked

BR: Hollister 17-yard pass from Voter, fumbled and recovered by O’Lena (1:14) 2pt conversion good

Third quarter

S: Isaac Torres 25-yard pass from Reynolds (5:50) Schenken kick

Fourth quarter

BR: O’Lena 64-yard pass from Voter (3:56) O’Lena kick

The only thing missing was fireworks.

What a show it was on Homecoming night under the lights at J. David Ramsey Stadium Friday as Bear River edged Sutter, 21-14.

Two quality teams went toe-to-toe and it was the Bruins, led by senior quarterback Jason Voter and wide receiver Ben O’Lena, who came out on top.

Voter connected O’Lena for the eventual game-winning score, a 64-yard pass with just under four minutes to play.

“It all came together tonight,” said O’Lena, who hauled in four catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns. “I knew the routes we were running, but when the ball is in the air everything stops, and you see it and once it’s in your hands you just go.”

The duo had good vibes going all night, also hooking up for a 57-yard touchdown late in the second quarter. Voter later found senior Connor Hollister for a 17-yard completion in the final minutes of the half, but the ball was fumbled at the 2-yard line and recovered by O’Lena in the endzone for a touchdown.

“It’s one of those games you love to win and hate to lose,” said Voter, who threw 9-for-12 passing for 203 yards and two touchdowns. “I was a little worried at the end when they were driving down, but I believe in our defense more than any other. All props to them.”

Bear River converted a 2-pt conversion after having it’s first PAT blocked and took a 14-7 lead into the locker room.

“Both teams tremendous effort, tremendous runs, catches, tackles,” said Bruins co-head coach Terry Logue. “High school football at its absolute best. It was a war.”

Running the ball didn’t bode as well for Bear River as Sutter loaded the box with seven, sometimes eight or nine defenders. The team totaled 110 yards on 34 carries with sophomore Austin Baze leading the way, piling up 55 yards on 13 touches. He was followed by David O’Brien with 11 carries for 34 yards.

The Bruins’ defense also stood tall in the games final minutes halting the Huskies at the Bear River 15-yard line. Hollister and junior Ryan Tantum broke up a Sutter pass on 4th-and-6 to give the Bruins possession with just under two minutes to play.

Sutter still had all three timeouts remaining so the Bruins turned to senior Dave Mastrella on 3rd-and-3 who plowed ahead to pick up the first down to seal the victory.

“It was a gut-check battle and we gutted it out,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie, whose offense was stuffed four times from the 1-yard line before going up for good. “That’s what good teams do. They stopped us down there at that goal line and we stopped them down there too.”

Defensively the Bruins brought the determination to get it done, holding Sutter to 233 yards rushing on 55 carries in a fast-pace, uptempo style offense. Running back Jacob Gildea racked up 103 yards on 23 touches, followed by Isaac Torres, who totaled 67 yards on 13 carries. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Reynolds piled up 54 yards on 15 attempts.

Sutter added 170 yards through the air and also had their way early with some trickery on a pass play to overcome a 4th-and-6 to score and grab a 7-0 lead.

Hollister led the Bruins, wrapping up 11 tackles, followed by Gunnar Simpson with nine and Mastrella and Shane Flores, who each tallied eight in a gang tackle affair.

The Bruins (5-0) hit the road to begin Pioneer Valley League play Friday at Foothill.

JV: Sutter 17, Bear River 12

The Bruins’ Clay Corippo tossed a pair of touchdowns to receivers Steven Rich and Luke Baggett in Friday night’s loss. Trailing 17-6, Bear River (2-3) scored with just over two minutes to play and then went on to recover an onside kick to make things interesting, but the Huskies prevailed with a game-sealing interception.

Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.

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