PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins hit the road to face Nevada state champ Pershing County
KNOW & GO
What: High school football
Who: Bear River (2-0) at Pershing County (1-0)
Where: 1150 Elmhurst Ave., Lovelock, NV
When: 7 p.m., Friday
The Bear River Bruins have roared through the first two weeks of the season, winning in dominant fashion on their way to a 2-0 record.
Things are about to get a lot tougher.
“We’re going to face much better competition this week,” said Bruins co-head coach Terry Logue. “Certainly a much bigger team.”
The Bruins hit the road for the second time this season, making the more than 180 mile trip to Lovelock, Nevada to face the Pershing County Mustangs, who have won two straight Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association 2A State Championships.
Fellow Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie expects a physical game in the Nevada desert.
“They are probably one of the more physical teams we will see on our schedule,” Savoie said. “They are absolutely huge. We can only see about five kids that are not back from last year. We are their only loss in the last two years. They are the two-time reigning 2A champions in Nevada. I gotta believe this game is a big, big deal to them. A measuring stick for them as well.”
Bear River hosted Pershing County last season and handed the Mustangs a 31-10 loss. The Bruins went on to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title, and the Mustangs haven’t lost since.
The Bruins come into this year’s game after impressive showings on both sides of the ball the past two weeks. Behind a solid offensive line and with talented skill position players, Bear River is averaging 284.5 yards on the ground, 160.5 yards through the air and 52 points per game.
Leading the offense has been senior quarterback Calder Kunde (298 pass yards, six touchdowns), running back Tre Maronic (185 rush yards, 53 receiving yards, four total touchdowns), running back Hunter Daniels (135 rush yards, 46 receiving yards, one touchdown) and receiver Dylan Bergez-Scott (seven catches, 164 yards, three touchdowns).
“Offensively we need to keep our running game going,” said Logue. “We’ve been running pretty well, and against a much bigger defense we will need to be able to keep running the ball.”
The Bruins have been equally dominant on the defensive side of the ball, forcing six turnovers, notching six sacks and allowing just 10 points across their first two games.
Leading the defense has been linebacker Austin Slining (18 tackles, one interception, one fumble recovery), defensive lineman Trae Nix (10 tackles, two sacks, one blocked punt), defensive back Colton Jenkins (11 tackles, three interceptions) and linebacker Logan Jenkins (15 tackles, two tackles for loss).
The Mustangs (1-0) have played just one game so far this season, a 54-0 thrashing of West Wendover. In that victory, they tallied more than 300 yards on the ground.
“Their quarterback is very quick, very fast,” said Logue. “Containing him is going to be a problem.”
Pershing County is led by senior quarterback Derek Sandusky, who led the team on their state title run last season. The Mustangs also have talented running backs in 5-foot, 10-inch, 175-pound senior Dylan Hultenschmidt and 5-foot, 10-inch, 180-pound senior Joaquin Wanner. Both Hultenschmidt and Wanner topped 100-yards rushing last week.
For the Bruins, the game in Lovelock will be both a test of their prowess on the field and their ability to stay focused on the task at hand.
“We have to travel well,” said Savoie. “They are 90 miles past Reno out in the high desert. We’ve never been there before. It’s going to be a different situation for our kids, so we have to travel well, stay focused and do it on the road.”
The Bruins and Mustangs are set to kick off at 7 p.m. today at Pershing County High School in Lovelock, Nevada.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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