PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins fall short against rival Colfax (PHOTO GALLERY)
Special to The Union
Bear River had its chances in the red zone early and showed resiliency late, but Colfax proved too much to handle as it took Friday night’s River Bowl bout at J. David Ramsey Stadium in dominant fashion, 28-7.
“It would have been easy to just go in the tank at the end of that first half,” said Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie, whose offense came away empty after getting down inside Falcons 10 yard line twice. “Our kids didn’t. They came out, they fought, got a score and made it a game there for awhile. Just needed one more drive. Had a couple big penalties that hurt us, but proud of the way the kids battled back in the second half. Too little, too late. Shot ourselves in the foot in the first half in a big way. Just too much to overcome.”
The Falcons (7-2, 4-0 Pioneer Valley League) rallied for three unanswered first half scores and a 21-0 lead over their league rival. The first came from junior half back Juliono Martello who scored from 7-yards out to cap off a nine-play, 58-yard drive to open the game.
Trying to bounce back on their ensuing possession, the Bruins were forced into third-and-long and was intercepted by Colfax junior Gannon Brothers, who gave his team a short field.
Cashing in the turnover six plays later was senior running back John Beckman, who busted through a bevy of Bruins for an 8-yard score. Beckman would later add a 29-yard sprint around the right edge on fourth-and-1 for a touchdown on Colfax’s next possession. Beckman led all rushers with 13 carries for 100 yards and two scores, while the rest of his team contributed 28 yards on 19 attempts.
“All we had to do was score those two touchdowns and look what would have happened,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue, whose team missed scoring opportunities early after surrendering a turnover on downs and lost a fumble inside the Colfax 10 yard line. “But oh well. Got to give (Colfax) credit. They put a pretty good rush on Colton (Jenkins).”
Coming out of halftime the Bruins received the kick and marched 73 yards on 12 plays before sophomore Jaime Vargas plowed in from 2-yards out to cut the deficit to 21-7. Vargas ended his night with eight touches for 26 yards and the score.
From there, the defenses settled in and stole the show, forcing punts as the teams battled for field possession.
Jenkins led the Bruins at the quarterback position despite senior Tre Maronic making a brief, light-duty appearance for some hand offs. Jenkins finished the night 4-of-12 passing for 41 yards with an interception and also rushed 12 times for 81 yards. He was followed by sophomore Ryder Kiggins, who bashed his way for 67 yards on 12 carries. Senior Zach Fink tallied 29 yards on four carries, followed by Jacob Ayestaran, who had four runs for 13 yards and also nabbed three catches for 36 yards.
Colfax senior quarterback Travyn Heimann and junior quarterback Wyatt Neumann shared the snaps for the Falcons and combined to go 12-of-19 for 158 yards, including an acrobatic 34-yard fingertip touchdown grab from Neumann to Luke Green late in the fourth quarter.
Defensively for the Bruins, Tyler Dzioba led the charge wrapping up 13 tackles. Gavin Jackson was close behind with a dozen tackles and was in on a sack. Justin McKim and Fink each tallied six tackles, including half a sack for Fink. Vargas had four tackles and a sack, followed by Caleb Hurst with three tackles and a sack.
With only one game left in the regular season there’s still a lot at stake for the Bruins.
“It’s a must-win to have a chance at a home playoff game,” said Logue, who expanded on where the brackets may fall. “We’re not going to get a first round bye, but we can still get a home playoff game if we win that one and go 7-3.”
Bear River (6-3, 1-3 PVL) wraps up its regular season next week when it hosts Marysville.
JV: Colfax 41, Bear River 14
The Bear River JV squad (5-2, 3-1 PVL) got off to good start with an early 6-0 lead after its opening drive, but after the dust settled, Colfax triumphed 41-14. Wyatt Baze and Alex Madrid each scored on short runs for the Bruins. Colfax scored 31 unanswered points to get their offensive juices flowing, including three touchdowns in less than 3 minutes with a pick-six, a blocked punt in the end zone and a scoop and score on a fumble.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
SCORE BY QUARTER
FALCONS 28 BRUINS 7
C: Juliono Martello 7-yard run (Dylan Garcia kick) 8:52
C: John Beckman 8-yard run (Garcia kick) 6:18
C: Beckman 29-yard run (Garcia kick) 10:14
BR: Jaime Vargas 2-yard run (Cade Torgerson kick) 6:08
C: Luke Green 34-yard pass from Wyatt Neumann (Garcia kick) 3:56
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