PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River set to face undefeated El Dorado | TheUnion.com
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PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River set to face undefeated El Dorado

Bear River's Austin Baze runs the ball during a game against Orland earlier this season. Baze has been a standout for the Bruins this season, leading the team in tackles on defense and rushing yards on offense.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

KNOW & GO

What: Bear River (1-2) vs. El Dorado (4-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., Friday

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

The Bruins have stumbled out of the gates this season, dropping two of their first three games. The road ahead isn’t any easier.

“We don’t have anyone in front of us that’s going to be a roll,” said Bear River football co-head coach Scott Savoie. “Every week is going to a battle.”

Bear River’s next battle is with the undefeated El Dorado Cougars from Placerville.



The Cougars have already notched victories over Ferndale, Del Mar (San Jose), Ponderosa and Golden Sierra. In the victories over Ferndale, Del Mar (San Jose) and Ponderosa, the Cougars averaged 43.7 points per game. The win over Golden sierra came via forfeit.

Golden Sierra’s offense is high powered and can hurt defenses on the ground and through the air.




Leading the Cougars out of the backfield is a pair of senior running backs in Hank Hasemeier and Rhogin Youngblood. The 5-foot, 10-inch, 187-pound Youngblood leads the team in rushing touchdowns with five rushing touchdowns, but four of those came in week one against Ferndale. Hasemeier leads the team in rushing yards with 309 to go with his four rushing touchdowns.

The Cougars also take to the air, passing on average 20 times a game. Hurling the ball for El Dorado is senior Aaron Golmitz, who has completed 52 percent of his passes for 504 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Golmitz does spread the ball around, hitting five different receivers for touchdowns, but his favorite target is senior Chris Volek, who has 21 catches for 210 yards and one touchdown.

Looking to put a stop to the Cougars high-scoring offense will be the Bruins’ defense, which is allowing 14.7 points per game this season. Leading Bear River’s staunch defense is 6-foot, 1-inch, 230 pound junior linebacker Austin Baze, who leads the team in tackles with 34 (30 solo). Baze also has two fumble recoveries, a defensive touchdown, a blocked punt and a sack on defense.

Baze has also been one of the more productive offensive options early on, despite a light load on that side of the ball. Baze has only ran the ball 18 times in three games, but leads the Bruins with 200 rush yards and two touchdowns. Baze is averaging 11.1 yards per carry.

“He’s probably one of the best specimens we’ve ever had,” Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue told The Union earlier this season. “I don’t think anybody wants to tackle him when he gets in the open field. He’s a load and he’s fast, great kid.”

Bear River’s Peyton Turner, Colton Wood and Stephen Taylor have also proven to be productive offensive options.

Through the air, Bear River senior quarterback Bradley Dzioba has done a solid job, throwing for 316 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception so far. Dzioba is coming off a tough game against Marysville in which he was 10-for-24 for 93 yards and an interception.

Bear River is averaging 24 points per game, but have had two defensive touchdowns this season.

The Cougars’ defense that will look to stop Bear River is led by Youngblood, who leads the team in tackles with 35 (20 solo) from his linebacker position.

The last time Bear River and El Dorado faced off was in 2009 when the Cougars were a member of the Pioneer Valley League. Bear River won that game 40-15. El Dorado is now in the Sierra Valley Conference.

The Bruins and Cougars kickoff at 7:30 p.m., today at J. David Ramsey Stadium on the Bear River High School campus.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.


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