PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins can’t keep up with Center, fall in PVL opener
Special to The Union
ANTELOPE — Bear River lost more than just a game Friday night.
Undefeated no more, Bear River fell to the Center Cougars, 48-17, and will need to quickly pick up the pieces after it lost senior quarterback Tre Maronic, who suffered an injury to his collarbone.
“What do you say, our season just changed a little bit here,” said Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie. “We’re going to have to reshape our group. We’re going to have to get ready to play without our best guy.”
Bear River had to dig deep much of the night and learned a lot about itself and a whole heck more about the toughness required to endure the season.
The Bruins jumped out to a 7-0 lead capping off a 10-play, 67-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge from sophomore Ryder Kiggins. However, the Cougars would answer back and then some, finding holes, breaking tackles and sparking big plays, including five touchdowns of 17 yards or more.
“Center gets the credit,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue, whose team trailed 21-10 at the half after a 25-yard field goal by Cade Torgerson. “They’re a tremendous football team. And without our full compliment of players we weren’t a very good match for them. I liked our chances up until Tre broke his collarbone, but what are you going to do?”
Maronic left the game midway through the second quarter after hauling in a 21-yard completion from senior Colton Jenkins, who stepped up his role the remainder of the game, but couldn’t outduel the playmakers from Center. Jenkins finished 6-of-10 passing for 73 yards, with junior Gavin Jackson hauling in three catches for 43 yards.
Cougars senior quarterback Michael Wortham passed 15-of-19 for 273 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, and also rushed for a pair of scores. Collectively Center rushed for 173 yards on 24 attempts.
The Bruins never threw in the towel, halting one Cougar drive with Jenkins snatching an interception in the end zone. Bear River senior Zach Fink also scored his first varsity touchdown, jetting 13 yards around the left edge to pay dirt in the fourth quarter.
“Pretty proud of my guys tonight,” added Savoie. “I know that’s maybe kind of a strange thing to say, but we literally got down to the last guys in several positions and our guys just kept battling. We’re going to learn from this. We’re going to get better. We’re going to have to regroup and get ready for next week.”
Getting it done for the Bruins was junior Joe Knowlton, who led the team in the rushing department with eight carries for 59 yards, including a long of 43. Kiggins finished close behind with 13 touches for 48 yards and a score. Fink ended his night with 41 yards on eight attempts and a score. Maronic tallied 36 yards on eight carries before his early exit, and also completed one pass to Jaime Vargas for 31 yards on the game’s opening drive.
Defensively for Bear River, Jenkins wrapped up a team high 10 tackles, followed by Jackson with seven, and Fink, who had five and a sack.
Bear River (5-1) will look to bounce back next week when it faces another test on the road at Lindhurst.
JV: BEAR RIVER 28,
The Bruins JV squad (3-1, 1-0 PVL) opened league play with an impressive 28-14 win. Bear River led wire to wire and held a 14-6 advantage at the half. Devin Ortiz scored three touchdowns, which came on a 50-yard sprint, a 13-yard run and a 50-yard pick six. Anders Torgerson also broke loose for the Bruins on a 40-yard score. Defensively, Alex Madrid hauled in a key interception. Wyatt Baze, Cody Lybbert, Jacob Vaughn and Torgerson all contributed with a slew of tackles.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
COUGARS 48, BRUINS 17
BR: Ryder Kiggins 1-yard run (Cade Torgerson kick) 7:59
C: Michael Wortham 3-yard run (kick good) 5:17
C: Wortham 18-yard run (kick good) 11:52
C: Legend Young 17-yard pass from Wortham (kick good) 7:02
BR: Torgerson 25-yard field goal 4:10
C: Young 21-yard run (kick good) 8:58
C: Brandon Fernandes 66-yard pass from Wortham (kick good) 7:16
C: No. 7, 12-yard run (PAT no good)
BR: Zach Fink 13-yard run (Torgerson kick) 6:34
C: Orion Bryant 26-yard run (kick good) 4:06
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