Proof of life – Bear River bounces Zebras to end three-game losing skid |

Proof of life – Bear River bounces Zebras to end three-game losing skid

LINCOLN – Doctor, we have a pulse.

The Bear River football team, which had lost three-straight heading into Friday’s pivotal Pioneer Valley League game at Lincoln, kept its playoff hopes alive with a 35-21 victory at McBean Memorial Park.

‘Ever since we lost the first one, we’ve been talking about getting this monkey off our backs,” said Bruin senior wide receiver Kyle Reid, whose 36-yard touchdown reception from halfback Kevin Grimes put the visitors up 21-6 early in the second quarter. “Now we’re hoping to string a few more wins together and make a run at the playoffs.”

Not to say a loss would have mathematically eliminated the Bruins (2-2 overall, 1-1 PVL) from a second consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division III postseason berth, but it sure would have made the task a lot more difficult.

“I’ve been saying this is a do-or-die (situation) for us,” Bear River head coach Scott Savoie said. “If we would have lost tonight, (there’s a good chance) we would have been playing for fun the rest of the way.”

“And we haven’t played just for fun at Bear River for a long time. We’re (proud of the fact) we’re usually (in the thick of things) until Game 9 or Game 10.”

With the loss, Lincoln drops to 1-3-1 overall and 1-1 in PVL play.

The Bruin offense, which has sputtered at times this season, dropped the hammer on the Zebra defense early and often.

Bear River hit pay dirt on its first three possessions to quiet the home crowd.

“I wanted our offense to come out and be physical tonight (and they were just that),” Savoie said.

Bruin senior fullback Brock Boyle, who totaled 50 yards on 12 carries, opened the scoring when he capped a six-play, 45-yard drive with a one-yard plunge at the seven minute, 38-second mark of the first quarter.

Lincoln answered with a score of their own later in the quarter, but was wide left on the PAT kick to trail 7-6.

Bear River fired right back on its next touch.

Starting out on their own 40-yard line, the Bruins gave the ball to four different runners over eight plays, culminating in a 22-yard touchdown run by senior Lance Welch.

The Bruin defense held on the next possession, forcing the Zebras to punt after six plays.

Grimes found Reid five plays later as the Bruins took a commanding lead.

Cody Chicourrat, who suffered what was thought to be a potential season-ending elbow injury over the summer, returned to the field with gusto.

The senior running back led the Bruins with 69 yards on 12 carries.

Lance Welch finished with 63 yards on 11 touches and a touchdown. David Wheeler, who scored from 10 yards out with 7:51 left in the third quarter, totaled 25 yards on three totes.

Junior Michael McGuire notched the first touchdown of his varsity career with a 11-yard run, fourth quarter run. He finished with 24 yards on for carries.

Bruin quarterback Michael Fredrickson went 3-for-7 for 52 yards. Matt Mocek caught two balls for a team-best 45 yards.

Defensively, Landon Savoie led the way with 10 tackles, including a sack. Welch and David Hudson were right behind with nine stops each. Robbie Frank had six tackles and an interception. Jeremiah Bennet totaled six tackles, including a sack.

Bear River’s junior varsity lost 24-7.

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