PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins score 42 unanswered, knock off Foothill
Special to The Union
SCORE BY QUARTER
BRUINS 56, Mustangs 31
F: Dimitri Wittington 63-yard pass from Kyle McLaughlin (Jose Gutierrez kick) 11:42
BR: Hunter Daniels 1-yard run (Dylan Bergez-Scott kick) 9:15
F: Joelle Henderson 13-yard pass from McLaughlin (Gutierrez kick) 4:53
F: William Goebell 1-yard run (2pt try good) 1:59
BR: Daniels 1-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) :00
F: Safety 8:46
F: Henderson 37-yard pass from McLaughlin (Gutierrez kick) 8:22
BR: Tre Maronic 12-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 4:21
BR: Jared Baze blocked punt, Logan Jenkins 4-yard return (Bergez-Scott kick) 2:01
BR: Bergez-Scott 39-yard pass from Kunde (Bergez-Scott kick) 11:24
BR: Daniels 11-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 4:56
BR: Maronic 10-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 8:27
BR: Daniels 16-yard run (Bergez-Scott kick) 4:53
It was a Senior Night to remember at J. David Ramsey Stadium.
With 8 minutes remaining in the first half, the Bear River Bruins football team found itself in unfamiliar territory — trailing. Facing a 31-14 deficit, the Bruins refused to surrender, digging in their cleats and grinding their way back with 42 unanswered points to tame the Foothill Mustangs, 56-31.
“Just got to give credit to kids that have a lot of guts, a lot of desire and would not quit,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue.
Amassing 451 yards rushing on 45 attempts, the Bruins moved the chains 31 times and imposed their will on the Mustangs defense throughout the night. Leading the way for Bear River was junior half back Tre Maronic, who made defenders look silly as he toted the ball 20 times for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Maronic was followed by senior fullback Hunter Daniels, who pummeled his way for 108 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries.
“We knew we were going to come out and play better than we did the first half,” said Maronic, who’s touchdowns came on runs of 12 and 10 yards. “Line did a great job. I was wide open on the outside once I got through the hole.”
Foothill looked unstoppable early on as it found most of its luck with the passing game. Mustang quarterback Kyle McLaughlin had three first half touchdowns, but was kept in check the rest of the way.
Maronic halted a first half Foothill drive with an interception at the Bruins 2-yard line, slowing the early Mustang charge. But, a couple plays later, with the Bruins backed up near the their own end zone, the Mustangs got a safety to pull ahead 24-14. Foothill added a 37-yard touchdown strike on its ensuing possession to jump ahead, 31-14.
“That second quarter, there were some things that happened in the first and second quarter that hadn’t happened to us all year,” said Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie. “There were moments where it was looking pretty grim, but kids just kept battling and there’s no question that in the second half we just have that extra spark that nobody else has been able to match so far.”
After a Maronic touchdown made it 31-21 with four minutes left in the second quarter, the Bruins got a big play on special teams when Jared Baze blocked a punt and Logan Jenkins returned it 4-yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to just three points with two minutes left before halftime.
“Blocked punt, we worked on that all week,” said Logue. “That rugby punt (Foothill) did, we felt we could get one of those. Big touchdown pass right at the start of the second half. Big turnovers. Just an unbelievable job.”
Upon receiving the second half kick, the Bruins began their drive at midfield and two plays later senior quarterback Calder Kunde dropped back on a play-action and hit a wide open Dylan Bergez-Scott for 39 yards and a score to take their first lead of the game, 35-31.
“We knew they had some athletes on defense,” added Kunde, who finished the game 1-of-3 passing for 39 yards and the one touchdown. “That was really big coming out in the second half, ran two plays, scored right off the bat and got the lead. I felt like going into the locker room at halftime we knew we were going to win. It was just a matter of when we were going to pick it up.”
The Mustangs tried to counter with a scoring drive of their own, however it was foiled by Daniels, who forced a fumble which Maronic recovered. On offense, Daniels finished what he started on defense, taking the handoff and banging his way 11 yards for a touchdown to cap off an 83-yard scoring drive that put his team ahead 42-31.
“Coming into this game 7-0 we had pretty high hopes, thinking it was going to be a really hard match,” said Daniels, whose four touchdowns came on runs of 1, 1, 11 and 16. “Going into the locker room down 31-28 at halftime just kind of killed us. We were up there just thinking we wanted to come back, we wanted to win. Like coach Sweeney always says, ‘End the week 1-0.’ That’s all we worried about is getting down here and getting back at it. The O-line gave it their all tonight. A lot of them got hit harder than they’ve been hit before, but they didn’t stop.”
Kunde stepped up defensively for the Bruins on the Mustangs next drive, swatting away a potential touchdown pass on fourth and goal. Bear River kept its foot on the accelerator, taking over at their own 2-yard line and marching 98 yards in eight plays for a score.
Also getting in on the offensive push were running backs Clayton Anderson, Erik LaCoss and Zach Fink, who all helped close out the game.
Defensively, Bear River wrapped up six sacks and everyone eventually settled in nicely to corral the Mustangs’ explosive playmakers. Foothill finished with 100 yards rushing on 30 attempts and its two quarterbacks combined to pass for 238 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Bear River’s defense was led by Daniels, Trae Nix, Logan Jenkins and Colton Jenkins, who each finished with eight tackles, including sacks from Daniels and Nix. Baze added a pair of sacks to go with five tackles and a blocked punt. Caleb Hurst finished with six tackles, including a sack. Maronic rounded out the defense as he hauled in a pick and secured a fumble.
Next week Bear River (8-0, 3-0 PVL) faces off against undefeated rival Colfax (8-0, 3-0 PVL) with league title hopes on the line. The Falcons soared past Lindhurst Friday night 49-0.
JV: BEAR RIVER 54, FOOTHILL 22
The Bruins (5-2, 3-0 PVL) had the Mustangs on the ropes early, jumping out to a 28-0 lead through the first quarter and coasting the rest of the way.
Starring in the highlight reel for Bear River was halfback Logan Stiller, who broke loose for three touchdowns, followed by Joe Knowlton, who plowed in for a pair of scores, and Jake Ayestran added another through the trenches. Bear River quarterback Tyler Dzioba hooked up with Ty Knox for a 20-yard touchdown and Knox also made a sensational catch, which ricocheted off a defenders helmet to set up another scoring opportunity.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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