Zebras top Bruins | TheUnion.com

Zebras top Bruins

Bear River's Hunter Cramer fights for extra yards during a second half kickoff return Friday against Lincoln.
Photo by Brian O’Brien |

The Fighting Zebras packed a powerful punch Friday night against the Bruins, running 51 times for 301 yards and racking up 449 yards of total offense on their way to a 42-7 trampling of Bear River.

“Not much to say — (Lincoln) is a good football team,” said Bear River co-head coach Terry Logue. “I’m disappointed. They ran plays we practiced for all week. It was kind of like last week where we would stop them but then give up a big play for a first down.”

Now with playoffs out of the picture, Bear River only has next week versus Foothill to look forward to. The hurt dished out by Lincoln Friday was impressive to say the least. Junior running back Dane Stimbert finished with 21 carries for 105 yards and a pair of scores. Landon Croisant put the Zebras on the board early with his two rushing touchdowns as he ended with nine touches for 67 yards. Eddy Cobleigh added another 61 yards on his nine carries, and Harrison Stewart broke through a fatigued Bear River defense for a 37-yard score late in the fourth quarter when the Zebras were just trying to run out the clock.

“We’re playing for pride at this point,” said Bruins co-head coach Scott Savoie. “We have got to battle — we need to get our swagger back. We’ve had four tough weeks in a row. We need to fight through this and finish things up strong. That’s all there is to say.”

The Bruins simply didn’t have an answer for Lincoln’s superior offensive and defensive fronts. Senior quarterback Braden Duncan showed a great amount of patience and hung tough despite much frustration. He wound up throwing 5-of-18 for 31 yards and had one interception. The Zebras only sacked him once, but they pressured him nearly every time he dropped back.

Bear River could only muster 100 yards of total offense for the game and had just 18 rushes for 69 yards. Senior Brad Botsford had the team’s only score on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter on a drive on which Bear River overcame a fourth-and-32 because of a roughing the center call. Botsford also set up the score, taking a delayed handoff 27 yards after a nice fake by Duncan.

“It’s a heart-gut check,” Bruins assistant coach Duane Zauner said following the crushing defeat. “Somehow we have to check it out. We have to show a little heart, a little pride. You’re going to have years like this where there are just teams in league better than you are.”

Lincoln only had two possessions on which it didn’t sustain scoring drives. The first was when Stimbert fumbled at the Bear River 13-yard line and the Bruins recovered, and the second was when it kneeled to run out the clock at the end of the first half.

Zebras quarterback Davis Dykstra was in the groove, zinging 7-of-9 passes for 148 yards, and he even plunged in for a 1-yard score of his own.

Their leading receiver was Cobleigh who had two grabs for 89 yards with a long of 64 when he caught a pass in stride and cut up the seam, rumbling down the field to set up first-and-goal.

The Zebras found the end zone on all of their other drives, all of which were 60 yards or more.

So while Bear River didn’t give out the free candy like they did last week, the squad was purely over-matched in every facet of the game. Other than the Bruins’ one scoring drive, the offense never moved loser than the Zebras’ 33-yard line.

Defensively for the Bruins John Voter III wrapped up a team-high 14 tackles. David Chorjel added nine more followed by Andrew Leonard, who had eight, and Justin Robinson, who had five and a sack.

“We have to win next week,” added Logue. “We have to finish on a positive note. We’ve had all four tough teams in a row.”

Bear River (5-4, 0-4 PVL) has a chance wrap up the year with a winning season if it can flip the switch and knockoff Foothill (1-8, 0-4 PVL) next week. Both the Bruins and the Mustangs are winless in league play, but only one will end the season with one.

JV: Bear River 50, Lincoln 30

The Bruins fell behind early Friday night and battled back to take a share of the lead into halftime before rallying in the second half to pull away as they knocked off the Zebras, 50-30.

Lincoln returned the game’s opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown to set the tone early, and Bear River countered with scores of its own to tie the game 22-22 at halftime. Kyle Uclaray unleashed his fury throughout much of the night, rushing 19 times for 173 yards, including a 1-yard plunge and a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown. Running back David Mastrella had five carries for 92 yards and a 9-yard score and also hauled in two more touchdowns from quarterback Jason Voter, who had another impressive outing, completing 11-of-13 for 114 yards and two touchdowns from 7 and 10 yards. He also threw one interception. Voter helped out his own cause with a 19-yard scamper for a touchdown of his own. RJ Rogers also chipped in on the scoring spree with a 7-yard rush while kicker Jay Roundtree was a perfect 6-for-6 on PAT attempts.

Defensivley, the team held its ground and flustered the Zebras down the stretch. Gunnar Simpson had a couple of monster tackles. One went for an 11-yard loss, and the other was a 5-yard sack. Mastrella drove the Zebras backward, wrapping up a pair of tackles for a loss of 12 yards. Danny Higgins also grabbed an interception as the Bruins’ defense held the Zebras to just one late score in the second half. The victory moves the Bruins to 4-0 in the PVL and assures them at least a share of the league title with one week left to play.

To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call 530-477-4234 or email bshepard@theunion.com.

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