PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River ready for big challenge vs. Marysville |

PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River ready for big challenge vs. Marysville

The Bear River Bruins gang tackle a Union Mine ball carrier during a game earlier this season.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

Know & Go

What: Bear River (1-1) vs. Marysville (2-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. today

Where: J. David Ramsey Stadium, Bear River High School

Coming off an early season bye week, the Bear River football team is champing at the bit to get back on the field.

“By the end of the bye week you’re ready to get back out there,” Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie said. “We’re excited for the challenge.”

Bear River’s challenge comes in the form of the Marysville Indians (2-1) who are coming into J. David Ramsey Stadium on the heels of their first loss of the season.

“They’re good. There is no doubt about it,” Savoie said of Marysville. “I know coach (Cullen) Meyer will have them fired up and ready to go.”

Marysville opened the season with a pair of blowout wins over Las Plumas and Wheatland, but ran into a strong Sutter team last week that trounced the Indians, 35-13.

Bear River (1-1) started the season with a tough loss at Orland but, after a 40-0 thrashing of Union Mine at home, the Bruins feel they are heading in the right direction.

“I really feel like we are back on track,” said Savoie. “I don’t think we played all that well at Orland, but ever since Union Mine, things have been rolling. We are getting better every single day.”

Bear River’s young offensive line has been a point of pride early on, said Savoie.

“That was a big concern going into the season,” he said. “I’ve been really impressed by them. They have turned into a pretty solid offensive line.”

The Bruins in the trenches are guard Shane Flores, center/guard Travis Carpenter, guard Nate Whittle, tackle Andrew Hansen, center Chase Riedel, tight end Landen Clark and 6-foot, 4-inch, 300-pound tackle Ryan Tantum, who is the only Bear River lineman that saw significant time on the varsity team last season.

With Bear River’s line coming together nicely, Savoie said it opens up things for their offense, which has a multitude of weapons.

“We don’t lean on one guy,” he said. “Austin Baze has had a couple good games, but we don’t lean on just one guy. We have lots of people touching the ball.”

Bear River has seven offensive touchdowns this season with five different players reaching pay dirt.

Leading the Bear River ground game has been Baze (nine carries, 146 yards, one touchdown), Stephen Taylor (six carries, 61 yards) and Colton Wood (nine carries, 47 yards). In all, Bear River has had eight different ball carriers rush for a total of 292 yards with an average of 6.2 yards per carry.

The Bruins have also found success through the air as first year varsity starter Bradley Dzioba has impressed, going 21-for-28 for 223 yards and five touchdowns. Dzioba spreads the ball around, hitting seven different receivers this season. His favorite target has been Taylor (seven catches, 103 yards, two touchdowns).

“Bradley works so hard,” Savoie said. “I’m super impressed with his work ethic. He stays late, he grabs his receivers for extra work. We’ve been really impressed with our progress so far.”

Bear River’s offense will have a big test in front of them as Marysville is allowing just 13.7 point per game this season.

On offense the Indians run the ball a lot and run the ball well. For the season, Marysville is averaging 175 yards per game on the ground and scored 12 rushing touchdowns.

Leading the Marysville offense is their senior quarterback Chase Tarr, who has thrown for 201 yards and rushed for a team high 168 yards to go with six total touchdowns (two passing, four rushing).

“He presents some problems,” Savoie said of Tarr. “He likes to keep that ball. And, coach Meyer likes to take shots down the field, one or two or three times a game.”

Looking to stop the Marysville offensive attack will be a Bruins’ defense that is coming off a shutout.

Baze leads the defensive charge with 20 tackles (18 solo), a sack, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a blocked punt. Luke Baggett (15 tackles), Clark (12 tackles), Flores (12 tackles) and Kyle Wooner (11 tackles) are all impact players on the defensive end as well.

Savoie added that he has been really impressed by the play of Wooner and Clark as of late.

“(Wooner) is playing really well this year. He’s a guy we lean on,” Savoie said. “(Clark) has been great. I’ve seen a lot of growth in him as a man. And, he’s a force to reckon with.”

The last time the Bruins and Marysville faced off it ended in a 21-21 tie. In that game, Bear River’s Drew Loftus threw for 145 yards and a touchdown, Cristopher Parfitt ran for 188 yards and Brandon Vallero punched in a pair of touchdowns.

Bear River and Marysville are set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. today at J. David Ramsey Stadium.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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