Prep football: Wheatland Pirates sink Bruins
WHEATLAND — A relentless swarm of Wheatland Pirates and rough seas quelled the hopes of the Bear River football team Friday night.
The Bruins fought valiantly and rode a top-notch running performance on the cleats of junior Anders Torgerson, but fell short, 29-10.
“We were very physical, especially in the first half,” said co-head coach Mike Profumo after the tough loss. “We started moving the ball in the second half. We’re working on getting better, got to be able to string it altogether, you know, keep it moving. We seem to shoot ourselves and miss some opportunities with mistakes. Can’t do that in football.”
Torgerson led all ball carriers, amassing 150 yards on 24 touches. The rest of the Bruins running attack contributed 57 yards on its 24 carries, but unfortunately Wheatland fired far more shots.
A rowdy Homecoming crowd fueled the Pirates on a 25-play, 70-yard drive, which included three 4th-down conversions and took the wind out of Bear River’s sails for a 6-0 lead in the second quarter.
Wheatland would follow that up by recovering an onside kick, all but eating up the clock in the first half.
Bear River would build some momentum before halftime, moving the chains for the first time in the game with just 4 minutes remaining in the half, and finally breaking through on its opening drive of the second half.
Quarterback Gino Lorenzo hooked up with Ryder Holcomb for a 12-yard score. The point after was good and the Bruins briefly led 7-6.
“I mean, I think we had some positives,” said co-head coach Tanner Mathias, whose team put together a couple of scoring drives and threatened again late in the fourth quarter. “We threw a touchdown. That’s great. Get our passing game going was awesome. Anders ran super hard. Defense for the most part played really well. Couple big mistakes, but we can clean those up in the future and it’s a great learning opportunity.”
Bear River’s lead lasted 54 seconds, as Wheatland’s Tristan Rymer broke through the defense for a 61-yard score. From there it was smooth sailing for the Pirates.
Torgerson and the Bruins would blast a 28-yard field goal through the uprights to cut the deficit to 14-10 at the end of the third quarter, but the Pirates sophomore quarterback Jack Phillips and senior Jordan Beban had an unstoppable connection dialed up all game long.
A 12-yard touchdown reception by Beban midway through the third quarter gave Wheatland a 22-10 advantage. Beban finished with six catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed 14 times for 101 yards.
Trailing 22-10, Bear River put together one last impressive drive, but its efforts were capsized by the Pirates, who forced a fumble and plundered the spoil 91 yards in the opposite direction with a lateral to boot for a 29-10 cushion.
Defensively for Bear River, junior Joey Knox led the charge by wrapping up a dozen tackles, followed by Torgerson with nine and Holcomb and Tyler Heuseveldt with four each. Wyatt Baze recovered a fumble at the Bruins 5-yard line to put a stop to a Pirates drive in the first half.
Bear River (1-5, 1-1 Pioneer Valley League) returns to the comforts of home for Senior Night against PVL foe Foothill this upcoming Friday.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who regularly contributes to The Union
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The Nevada Union Boys Varsity Soccer team kicked off their season with a non-league home bout against Lindhurst last Friday night under the lights at Hooper Stadium.