Tough back Duran gets job done |

Tough back Duran gets job done

Dan BurkhartJeff Duran's return to the Bruins' football program has yielded impressive results. The senior is third in the Pioneer Valey League in carries and fourth in scoring.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Jeff Duran put Pioneer Valley League defenders on notice in the Bear River football team’s league opener at Lincoln Oct. 4.

The Bruins trailed 7-2 early in the third quarter when the 6-foot, 220-pound fullback introduced himself to Zebra defensive back Justin Hobson.

Behind the blocks of tight end Keith Marin and left tackle Seth Morsey, Duran burst through the line of scrimmage with a full head of steam.

Hobson, just like any good cornerback, shed the block of the receiver and slid upfield to stop the run.

Bad idea.

Duran dropped his shoulder and flattened the 6-foot, 1-inch, 185 pounder.

“I didn’t see it. But, I heard a thud and when I Iooked up I saw Jeff, two of three yards down field and the defensive back flat on his back, looking up at the sky,” Marin said.

The first down play netted five yards, so Bruin coach Scott Savioe went right back to it.

Duran freightrained Hobson again as the Bruin sideline erupted.

The senior scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night four plays later as the Bruins scored 29 unanswered points in a 31-7 come-from-behind win.

Not bad for a kid who hasn’t picked up a football since 1999.

“I started coaching Jeff when he was a Junior Bruin. Then he came out and played a little fullback and middle linebacker on the freshman team, but he had a knee injury at the end of the season and he sat out the next two years,” Savoie said.

“He was a guy walking around the halls who I just thought had to come out for football. He’s always been a big, physical kid, that even with two years off I knew he could help us,” Savoie added.

He was right.

While the Bruins lost a pair of battle-hardened fullbacks in Matt Logue and JonLuc Reshatoff to graduation, the varsity rookie has picked up the slack.

He’s third in the league in carries (56), fourth in scoring (33 points) and eighth in rushing yards (223).

“Physically, he’s (right up there with Logue and Reshatoff), but he doesn’t have their mentality yet. Matt and JonLuc knew what they could do with the ball in their hands. Once he gets that in his head, watch out,” Marin said.

Duran, who was a member of the 2001 Bruin boys volleyball team which went 34-0 and won the coveted state title, said while he was nervous about his return to the football field, there was no way he would to pass up the chance.

“I’ve always loved the game. Just going out there in front of the crowd and doing whatever I can to make them happy,” he said.

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