PREP FOOTBALL: Bruins set to face PVL leader Placer
Know & Go
What: Bear River (6-2, 1-2 PVL) vs. Placer (7-1, 3-0 PVL)
When: 7:30 p.m., Friday
Where: J David Ramsey Field, Bear River High School
Follow along: on Twitter @TheUnionsports or online at TheUnion.com
With two games left on their regular season schedule, the playoff scenario is clear for the Bear River Bruins — win one and they’re in.
Bear River (6-2, 1-2 Pioneer Valley League) gets its first chance at earning that win when they host PVL co-leader Placer (7-1, 3-0 PVL) at J. David Ramsey Field tonight.
The Hillmen have dominated the PVL for years, winning at least a share of the league title in five straight seasons. Placer has also dominated the matchup with Bear River, holding an eight-game winning streak over the Bruins, including a 31-8 victory last season. The last time Bear River beat the Hillmen was in 2008.
Placer comes into the contest riding a six-game win streak and scoring 38.8 points per game behind a potent wing-T attack that averages 288.9 rushing yards and 148.5 passing yards per game.
Leading the Hillmen offense has been Mario Perez (712 rush yards, nine rush touchdowns), Marshall Chapman (585 rush yards, nine rush touchdowns), Anthony Kerrigan (441 rush yards, two touchdowns) and Brad Bishop (204 rush yards, five rushing touchdowns).
Through the air, Placer leans on junior quarterback Michael Stuck, who has thrown for 1,199 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions. Stuck’s favorite target is Travis Warren with 25 catches for 541 yards and five touchdowns.
Standing in Placer’s way is a Bear River defense that allows an average of 15 points per game, but is coming off a 31-14 loss to Colfax.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bruins boast a solid secondary led by Luke Baggett (three interceptions), Calder Kunde (three interceptions), Josh Zimmer and Tre Maronic (two interceptions). They also have strength at middle linebacker with Travis Carpenter (70 tackles, six tackles for a loss) and do a good job of getting after the quarterback with 14 sacks as a team. Sam Davis leads the team with four sacks.
On the offensive side of the ball, Bear River is averaging 27.6 points per game, getting 182.4 yards per game on the ground and 103.8 through the air.
Leading the ground game is senior fullback Austin Baze (243 rush yards, 6.1 yards per carry, four touchdowns).
Through the air, the Bruins are led by Baggett, who has thrown for 797 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. Kunde is Baggett’s most frequent target, catching 21 balls for 363 yards and two touchdowns.
Tonight’s game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at J. David Ramsey Field, is the final regular season home game for the Bruins, who then travel to Center Nov. 3 for the season finale.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.