PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River pummels Marysville (PHOTO GALLERY)
Special to The Union
Unleashing the beast from within, the Bear River Bruins found their stride and secured a big Pioneer Valley League win on Senior Night at J. David Ramsey Stadium.
Behind the one-two punch of sophomore fullbacks Ryder Kiggins and Jaime Vargas, Bear River banged its way through the trenches for 276 yards and three rushing scores en route to a 31-6 thumping of Marysville, Friday night.
“Everybody gets all excited about the spread offense and throwing the ball all over the field, but there’s nothing prettier than a fullback running straight ahead for five or six yards,” said Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie, whose team held a 21-0 lead at the half. “I just loved it. Loved it from an offensive lineman’s standpoint. That’s what I played. Felt like the guys up front, they really did a great job tonight. Outsized, outmatched-weightwise and just got after it. I think we wore them down.”
After surviving a game-opening onside kick recovered by the Indians, the Bruins got an early spark from senior Tre Maronic, who intercepted an errant pass and weaved his way 35-yards in for the game’s first score and a 7-0 lead. Maronic’s play remained limited on offense the remainder of the night, rushing for 21 yards on two attempts and nabbing one catch for 11 yards.
Riding the momentum, the Bruins forced the Indians to punt and began a 16-play, 79-yard scoring drive capped off with a 2-yard Kiggins plunge for a 14-0 lead.
“(Credit to) my linemen, all their blocking and everything they do for me,” said Kiggins, who finished with 22 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown. “Thirty-three lead is just our main running play on Brown. They always tell me, ‘Do this, go like this here, this block and I’ll make a hole for you,’ so I just trust them no matter what.”
After another Marysville punt, Bear River’s offense picked up right where it left off and marched 67 yards in 13 plays with Vargas breaking through for a 2-yard score and a 21-0 lead late in the second quarter.
“We said we were going to play our hearts out,” said Vargas, who rushed for 82 yards on 20 touches with two scores, adding another 2-yard burst across the goal line to extend the Bruins lead to 28-0. “It was our last game so we decided to put in all the work for the nine-ten weeks for today. And we just played our hearts out and said we were going to make it a good game.”
Cade Torgerson showed off his leg, blasting a 25-yarder through the uprights with distance to spare to put the Bruins up 31-0 in the fourth quarter.
Also chipping on the offense, was senior Colton Jenkins, who executed the play calls well. Jenkins finished 5-of-9 passing for 74 yards with an interception and also rushed five times for 24 yards. Jacob Ayestaran hauled in a pair of catches for 27 yards.
“That was our best all-around effort of the year,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue, who knows the importance of riding a win into the postseason. “The defense was phenomenal, picked up where they left off in the second half last week against Colfax. The offensive line just pounded it down the field. Time of possession had to be about three to one, but it was nice. It was a big win for us to go into the playoffs on a positive note. Hopefully Tre, it was so nice to see him get that touchdown, sparked us, really got some energy going for us, he got a little dinged, but I think he’s going to be OK.”
Marysville had little to show for itself offensively, eventually breaking free for one long touchdown on a 90-yard kickoff return. The Indians were held to just 24 yards rushing on 18 attempts and finished 2-for-10 passing for 36 yards with an interception.
Junior linebackers Tyler Dzioba and Gavin Jackson led the defense with six tackles each, followed by Zach Fink, who wrapped up five, including two for a loss. Junior Warren Davis tallied four tackles, and senior Caleb Hurst had a pair of tackles, including a sack. Junior Justin McKim forced a fumble and Torgerson secured the recovery.
“I think we will (get a home game),” added Logue, sharing his thoughts about next week’s first round playoff game. “But you never know. The top eight teams, there’s only 12 teams. With a 7-3 record I hope were in the top eight, but you never know.”
Bear River (7-3, 2-3 PVL) awaits the release of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff brackets Sunday afternoon, where early projections have them as a mid-seed in Division 6 and hosting a first round opponent.
JV: Bear River 23, Marysville 0
The Bruins JV squad (6-2, 4-1 PVL) notched one last victory in front of its home crowd Friday night, pitching a 23-0 shutout. All the Bruins’ scoring came in the second half, starting with a 12-yard dash on the cleats of sophomore Devin Ortiz.
“It was a fun night,” said Ortiz. “It was great being with these boys for one last time. I’m going to miss being on JV because you get to hangout and support varsity. Next year, you get to be on the field and other people support you.”
Anders Torgerson blasted 23-yards through defenders for the team’s next score. Defensively, multiple Bruins combined for a sack in the end zone for a safety. Joey Knox put the final nails in the coffin with a 12-yard sprint for a touchdown.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
SCORE BY QUARTER
BRUINS 31, INDIANS 6
BR: Tre Maronic 35-yard pick-six (Cade Torgerson kick) 6:43
BR: Ryder Kiggins 2-yard run (Torgerson kick) 10:21
BR: Jaime Vargas 2-yard run (Torgerson kick) :38
BR: Vargas 1-yard run (Torgerson kick) 4:15
BR: Torgerson 25-yard FG 9:17
M: No. 1, 90-yard kickoff return (2pt try no good) 9:01
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