PREP FOOTBALL: Bear River shuts out Union Mine, improves to 2-0
Special to The Union
BRUINS 20, DIAMONDBACKS 0
BR: Alex Bohn 30-yard field goal :25
BR: Travis Carpenter 2-yard run (Bohn kick) 8:37
BR: Stephen Taylor 11-yard pass from Calder Kunde (Bohn kick) 11:51
BR: Bohn 25-yard field goal :38
It was a heated defensive battle early on, but the Bear River Bruins football team seized control in the second half and dealt Union Mine a goose egg in Friday night’s 20-0 road win.
The Bruins and Diamondbacks combined for 14 first half possessions, resulting in eight punts, two fumbles, an interception, a turnover on downs, a Bear River field goal and a knee to the half.
“Really changed momentum, got a field goal at least,” said Bruins co-head coach Terry Logue, whose team led 3-0 at the break thanks to sophomore Alex Bohn’s 30-yarder with just 25 left in the second quarter. “Thought we played well in the second half. Still a couple of penalties we got to clean up. We can’t be getting those dumb penalties.”
Providing a much-needed boost for the Bruins was junior Garrett Pratt, whose fumble recovery led to the team’s first field goal and later blocked a punt in the third quarter that led to a score.
“Pratt blocking that punt was huge,” said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. “Obviously, kicking the field goal in the second quarter was huge. (Union Mine) ran the ball a lot more than we expected. The look on defense was a little different as well, but that’s football. Their kids were very scrappy and it took us a while to overcome. Kept beating ourselves with our ball handling, but we got the kids settled down and played a pretty good second half.”
After Pratt’s block, the team worked the ball down to the 2-yard line, and senior Travis Carpenter bulldozed his way in for the first touchdown of the game, putting the Bruins ahead 10-0. Carpenter had seven carries for 45 yards and a score.
“We weren’t going for blocks in the first half,” said Pratt, who finished with a fumble recovery, the blocked punt and four tackles. “I was ready, just got through and made the play.”
After forcing another Union Mine punt, Bear River took over at their own 46 and drove 54 yards in 12 plays, capping the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Calder Kunde to Stephen Taylor on third and goal with 11:51 to play.
“At halftime, we huddled up and knew the third quarter was the most important,” said Taylor, who finished the evening with 12 carries for 79 yards and five receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. “We just came out and drove down the field.”
With a comfortable three-possession advantage, leading 17-0, the Bruins defense remained poised and forced a turnover on downs. Working the clock in its favor, Bear River marched 55 yards and Bohn chipped in a 25-yard field goal with under a minute to play.
“Coaches said to keep my head straight and not get in my own head,” explained Bohn. “Mentally, it’s the most important thing in kicking.”
Rounding out the offensive attack for the Bruins was Josh Zimmer, with 14 carries for 68 yards. Quarterback Kunde finished the game 8-of-14 passing for 78 yards with a touchdown. Dylan Scott grabbed two passes for 21 yards, and Tre Maronic hauled in one for seven yards.
“At the half, I talked to the receivers,” said Kunde. “They had some drops in the first half. I told them I’d keep throwing to them. I trust them. They got the job done.”
A stellar defensive performance by the Bruins never allowed the Diamondbacks inside the red zone. Union Mine reached the Bear River 22 yard line near the end of the first half, but a Pratt fumble recovery halted the drive.
Carpenter led Bear River with seven tackles, followed by Sam Davis with four and a half, including a sack for a loss of nine yards. Trey Nix also wrapped up a pair of sacks for a combined loss of 17 yards. The team tallied five sacks in all. Kunde also nabbed an interception.
Union Mine ended the night with 37 rush attempts and net only 11 yards. Quarterback Mike Griffiths completed 8-of-20 passes for 171 yards with an interception.
Bear River (2-0) looks to keep its hot streak alive next week when it welcomes Pershing County for Homecoming next Friday.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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