With a win, Bruins are in
It’s do-or-die for the Bear River football team.
The Bruins, who come into tonight’s 7:30 p.m. season finale tied with the Oakmont Vikings (Roseville) for second place in the Pioneer Valley League, will hit their homefield of J. David Ramsey Stadium with their playoff lives on the line .
A win over Oakmont, and the Bruins (7-2 overall, 4-1 PVL) earn their first playoff berth since 1997.
A loss, and it’s on to basketball season.
“We want to buy another game for our seniors,” Bear River head coach Scott Savoie said. “We have 13 (seniors) and we’re going to try to win a playoff game for them, then continue on.”
The Bruins have gone 4-0 against Oakmont (7-2, 4-1) in the last six seasons, but Savoie said his boys shouldn’t expect another cake walk.
“This is the best Oakmont team I’ve seen, and I’ve been here since 1994,” he said. “There’s a lot at stake for them too. A win and they get a home playoff game.”
Offensively, the Vikings like to put a little air under the ball.
Senior quarterback Crosby Wehr (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) leads the area in passing yards with 1,776 on 89-of-159 passing with 22 touchdowns to five interceptions.
Wehr’s favorite target is junior wide receiver James Harris.
The 6-foot, 2-inch, 180 pound junior is tops among PVL receivers with 1,042 yards on 36 catches with 15 touchdowns in eight games played.
“They’ve only thrown 31 more attempts than we have, but they get a lot of yards out of their completions. They’ve got a deep (threat) in Harris and a quarterback who has a good arm who isn’t afraid to run with the ball,” Savoie said.
Oakmont also has its share of gamebreakers on the defensive side of the ball.
Senior linebacker Danny Sullivan (6-3, 235) leads the league in tackles (106), sacks (15) and has a team-high three interceptions.
Defensive lineman Anthony Garrett (6-1, 215), who’s second to Sullivan on the team in sacks with nine, and linebacker Jeremiah Matthews (5-10, 160) will also look to play a role in securing Oakmont’s first playoff berth since 1991.
“Against Colfax, they tried to take away the pass, and they tried to stop the run in the Johnson West game. We’re not really sure what to expect from them, so we’re prepared for both,” Savoie said. “They’re a big team and they like to stunt up front.”
The Viking defense’s job will be that much easier with the absence of Bear River halfback and the league’s leading rusher, Cody Yeager,
The junior, who has been suspended from the team for an unspecified school district athletic code violation for the duration of the season, had missed Bear River’s last two games.
“We have to change what we do a little bit without Cody in there, no doubt about that, but we still have some very capable halfbacks in there (with Dusty Tabellija and Keith Roberts). We are going to try to accentuate our power football game a little, and we’re going to throw the ball too,” Savoie said.
“This game, I don’t think is a lot different than any other. It’s about turnovers, blocking and tackling.”
Colfax 5-0-0 9-0-0
Bear River 4-1-0 7-2-0
Oakmont 4-1-0 7-2-0
Mesa Verde 2-3-0 5-4-0
Lincoln 2-3-0 4-5-0
West Campus 1-4-0 1-8-0
Mira Loma 0-6-0 0-9-0
Crosby Wehr 1776 yards
Noah Frederito 523, Carson Cooper 321, Crosby Wehr 149
James Harris 1042, Kyle Cancimilla 248, Noah Frederito 176
Danny Sulivan 106, Jeremiah Mathews 40, Steve Hartman 39
Danny Sulivan 15, Anthony Garrett 9, Noah Frederito 6
Bear River statistics
Josh Rumsey 1156 yards
Cody Yeager 926, Jeff Duran 294, Dusty Tabellija 243
Bryan Hart 458, Keith Marin 174, Keith Roberts 147
Chad Anderson 102, Jon Cummings 88, Matt Stuber 66
Keith Marin 7, Seth Morsey 7, Matt Stuber 5
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As far as experts go, The Union’s “experts” have not exactly lived up to the billing so far this season.