PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River set to face reigning Nevada state champs Pershing County |

PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River set to face reigning Nevada state champs Pershing County

Bear River's Stephen Taylor has done it all for the Bruins through two games, rushing for 213 yards, catching seven passes for 59 yards and scoring three total touchdowns. Taylor and the Bruins take on Pershing County (Lovelock, Nevada) tonight at Bear River.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |


What: Bear River (2-0) vs. Pershing (1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., tonight

Where: J. David Ramsey Field, Bear River High School, 11130 Magnolia Rd, Grass Valley

Follow along: On Twitter @TheUnionSports or online at

Through two games this season, the Bruins’ defense has been downright beastly.

After eight quarters of football, the Bear River football team has allowed just seven points.

With convincing wins over Union Mine and Orland already under their belt, the Bruins (2-0) are now gearing up for their toughest test to date in Pershing County, the reigning Class 2A Nevada State champs.

“They were 12-0 last year. They’re 1-0 this year … It’s going to be a whale of a game,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue after Bear River’s 20-0 win over Union Mine last week.

A season ago, the Pershing County Mustangs (Lovelock, Nevada) averaged 36.8 points per game and gave up just 8.3 points per game as they went undefeated. Many key players from that state championship team is gone though as the Mustangs graduated their starting quarterback, top two rushers, best receiver and top tackler from 2016.

This year, the Mustangs are led by junior running back Jayce Levya, who rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown in the Mustangs’ 18-8 win over Sparks last week.

Through the air, Pershing County only tallied 80 yards, but junior quarterback Derek Sandusky was efficient, hitting on 6-of-8 passes.

The Bruins will look to tame this year’s herd of Mustangs and hand Pershing County its first loss of the this season and first loss since 2015.

Leading the Bruins staunch defense so far this season has been senior linebacker Travis Carpenter with 15 tackles and junior defensive back Calder Kunde with two interceptions. As a team, the Bear River defense has allowed just 131.5 yards passing per game and 54 yards rushing per game.

While the Bruins’ defense has been stout, their offense has been potent with an average of 34.5 points per game. Bear River’s run game has been especially strong, averaging 230 yards per game and accounting for six of the Bruins’ eight offensive touchdowns through two games. Leading the Bear River offense is senior Stephen Taylor, who is averaging 106.5 rush yards per game to go with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Taylor also has seven catches for 59 yards and a touchdown this season.

“They were 12-0 last year so they should be a huge, huge opponent for us,” Taylor told The Union after last week’s game. “We’re going to practice hard all week and come out ready.”

Bear River’s starting quarterback, Luke Baggett, returns this week after missing last week’s game. Baggett was ejected from the season opener when he was called for a targeting penalty on defense, which carries a one-game suspension as well. In Baggett’s absence, Kunde filled in nicely with 119 passing yards and two passing touchdowns on 13-of-19 attempts.

The Pershing defense, which allowed just eight points in their only game this season, is led by junior linebacker Joaquin Wanner, who had a team-high 10 tackles against Sparks.

The contest also marks Bear River’s homecoming game and is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. It will be the second straight home game for the Bruins before they hit the road for their next four bouts.

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

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