Right back in it
Terry Logue looked a bunch of Bruins right in the eye and made prediction that was somewhat out of character for Bear River’s longtime football coach.
But then again, after watching his Bruins light up Pioneer Valley League leading Lincoln 39-8 Friday night, Logue likely was just calling it like he saw it.
And what he saw on Bear River’s homecoming night was the type of performance he believes could win a section championship.
“If the team that showed up tonight show up for 48 minutes,” said Logue, Bear River’s co-head coach, “in five weeks you’ll be in Stockton.”
That’s quite a statement for a team that just evened its PVL record to 2-2, but in handing the visiting Zebras (5-3 overall, 3-1 PVL) their first league defeat in impressive fashion, Bear River clearly impressed its coach.
“He doesn’t say something like that very often,” said Scott Savoie, Logue’s co-head coach. “The thing is we’ve known from the get-go that we’ve got what we need to do well. We just hadn’t really been playing that well.
“Tonight, all three facets of the game were firing on all cylinders.”
Defensively, Bear River won the battle of turnovers by a large margin, taking away three fumbles and picking off a pair of interceptions. Senior Rhett Angold snagged the first pick on the first play of the game, reeling in a Stephen Davis pass on the left side. Angold said the early turnover was something the team talked about all week.
A year ago, it was former Bruin Axel Wadman who intercepted a pass on the third play of the game, setting up an early Bear River score that set the tone in a 21-18 win over the Zebras.
“It was just like last year,” Angold said. “I think it set the tone. It was nice to have something like that to set the tone.
“This is big. If we lost we’re not going to the playoffs at all. But if we win this week and next week, it could come down to us and Colfax.”
The victory was the Bruins’ 13th straight win over Lincoln, including five in a row since 2002 when the two schools have been meeting as PVL rivals. Lincoln’s last win over Bear River dates to 1987, when the Zebras beat the Bruins 24-0 in Bear River High School’s second year of existence.
On Friday night, the Bruins (5-2-1 overall) rushed for 188 yards, led by senior fullback Andy Parquette’s 86 yards and two touchdowns. Bear River also went to work through the air, as senior quarterback Drew Loftus completed 7-of-11 passing for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Loftus connected on five of his first six passes as the Bruins jumped out to an early lead. But Bear River’s big pass play came early in the third quarter when Loftus hit Garrett Barbic for a 40-yard score gave the Bruins a 33-0 lead less than a full minute into the second half.
Bear River’s execution on both sides of the ball was nearly flawless, as the Bruins were flagged for just two penalties totaling 10 yards on the night.
“We wanted to jump on them early and stay on them after that,” Loftus said. “This is really the first game where we’ve put a full four quarters all into one game.”
Through the first three quarters of action, Lincoln was finding little success on offense. The Zebras’ leading rusher, junior Rex Sievers, was held to just 43 yards on the night. Ray Lyons, a senior, had 23 rushing yards.
Davis, who completed 5-of-14 passes for 21 yards with two interceptions, led Lincoln in rushing with 70 yards and the team’s lone score of the night.
Bear River senior linebackers John Kammerer and Johnny Lascoe had huge nights. Kammerer led the team with 11 tackles, recorded a quarterback sack and picked off an interception. Lascoe added nine tackles in the win.
Matt Belnap, another senior linebacker with the Bruins, turned in perhaps back-breaking play for the Zebras. Late in the second quarter, with Bear River leading 14-0 and the ball at Lincoln’s own 3-yard line, Davis ran to the right on an option play. His pitch, however, flew behind Sievers and landed in the end zone.
Belnap beat everyone else to the ball to recover the fumble for a touchdown and 21-0 Bear River lead with 7:44 to go in the first half. The Bruins added another score, the second of Parquette’s touchdown plunges, for a 27-0 halftime lead.
“I wish I could say ‘yes, I saw this coming,'” said Savoie, whose Bruins won for the second straight week after a pair of losses and a tie. “But’s been a tough go for us, just trying to get the monkey off our back – not only to win, but to play well.”
After the victory, and after Logue’s laid it on the line for the Bruins, Savoie told his players what the Bear River faithful surely hope to be the truth over the final two weeks of play.
“You know, the Bear has been kind of sleeping,” he told the team, “but he woke up tonight.”
Bear River 39, Lincoln 8
L (5-3) 0 0 0 8 – 8
BR (5-2-1) 6 21 12 0 – 39
BR – Andy Parquette 1 run (Kick failed), 7:41.
BR – Brandon Vallero 4 run (Belnap pass from Loftus), 9:07.
BR – Matt Belnap fumble recovery in end zone (Jared Murnan kick), 7:44.
BR – Parquette 1 run (Kick failed), :41.
BR – Garrett Barbic 50 pass from Drew Loftus (Kick failed), 11:09.
BR – Derek Julian 3 run (Kick failed), 6:37.
L – Stephen Davis 19 run (Rex Sievers run), 8:21.
JV: Bear River 42, Lincoln 0
With a 42-0 blowout of Lincoln Friday night, Bear River’s sophomore class members have still not lost a high school football game.
As freshmen, those Bruins went unbeaten – allowing a mere six points all season long – and as sophomores they’re off to an 8-0 start.
The Bruins were led by Johnny Jewett’s three-touchdown night. Jewett led the team with 70 rushing yards, including a 20-yard touchdown. He also returned an interception for a 55-yard touchdown and returned a missed field goal attempt 95 yards for a score.
“I bet he had somewhere near 300 all-purpose yards tonight,” said Bear River junior varsity coach Duane Zauner. “He’s a player.”
A couple of other Bear River players also had big nights. Cole White had 35 rushing yards and a touchdown, along with a team-high 13 tackles and a sack. Quarterback Brian Pedro ran for an 18-yard touchdown and threw a 16 yard touchdown pass to Will Gray.
To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4240.
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