Bruins surprise Timberwolves at home

Bear River improves to 4-0 with stifling defense, creative offense
By: Rob McAllister Special to Gold Country News Service
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LAKE OF THE PINES - A night of surprises began on the second play as the Bear River High football team pulled out a new trick to score within the first minute of the game on its way to a 24-10 victory over Woodcreek Friday night. On second down from the Bruin 27-yard line, quarterback James Harris tossed to fullback Jimmy Bamburg in the flat who then floated a perfect ball to a streaking Harley Sauers along the right sideline. Harris on the 73-yard score. “Jimmy just put it up there and Harley just took off, the corner was so far up there was no chance he was going to catch Harley," Harris said of the 73-yard score. Co-Head Coach Scot Savoie, whose Bruins are now 4-0 added, “Woodcreek is really aggressive in the secondary, and we thought maybe they would come clean up on that first toss to Bamburg.” That would not be the only surprise of the night. The Bruins’ defense was able to shut down the Timberwolves (3-1) attack and hold an offense that was averaging 54 points, to just 10. The effort was lead by junior Michael Raigoza who had two interceptions and batted down a would-be touchdown toss by Shaun Mize at the end of the first half. The T-Wolves would settle for a Nick Poon field goal. “For some reason I was really reading (Mize) well tonight,” said Raigoza. “I was prepared for the plays (the Timberwolves) were running.” The defensive back picked the first one in the first quarter on Woodcreek’s first drive after Mize scrambled to make something out of a broken play on the Bruin 12-yard-line. Raigoza toed the line and was able to snatch the ball inside the ten before he and the pigskin sailed of bounds. His second would come in the fourth quarter at midfield. “The Bruins just beat us soundly,” said Timberwolves head coach John Hildebrand. “They were just flat better than us.” Co-Head Coach Terry Logue was in disbelief that his Bruins held a team that had scored 70 against Casa Roble to a single touchdown. “Our guys just made a tremendous effort all night long,” he said. At half Bear River had a 7-3 lead, but the Sierra Foothill League squad took 5:55 on the first drive and scored on a 10-yard run touchdown run by Mitchell Layton, who would finish with 78 rushing yards on 20 attempts, to go up 10-7. That was Woodcreek’s final lead. The Bruins marched down the field on the next possession with two key runs by DeVaughn Lofton to set up 28-yard field goal by Jack Tortorici to tie the game with 3:36 left in the third quarter. Woodcreek missed a 36-yard field goal, and the Bruins would turn that missed opportunity into another Lofton run. That dash from 14-yards out would find the endzone to retake the lead 17-10. Bear River added one more on a Bamburg run from four yards out to seal the 24-10 win. Woodcreek has a week off before facing University of Oregon bound quarterback Jake Rodriquez and the Whitney Wildcats in a non-league match up. “I think we have a lot of work to do,” said Hildebrand. “We found out some things about us that need some improvement.” The final surprise of the night, was the final score that gave the Bruins their first 4-0 start since the fall of 2005. Raigoza understood the importance of this win. “You gotta beat somebody, to be somebody,” Raigoza said. Bear River’s homecoming is Friday night versus River Valley in Lake of the Pines. Junior Varsity A safety was the difference in the junior varsity match up between the two schools. The Timberwolves picked off a pass at the Bruin 20-yard line and put up seven points in the first nine seconds of the game. A safety in the middle of the second on a bad snap did not seem all that important at the time, but proved to be the deciding points in a 23-21 Bruin win. Brad Botsford rushed for 112 yards as Bear River improved to 4-0. Score by Quarters Woodcreek 0 3 7 0 - 10 Bear River 7 0 3 14 - 24 Scoring Summary First Quarter BR - Sauers 73 yd Pass from Bamburg (Kick Tortorici) 11:16 Second Quarter W - 23 yd FG Poon 5.5 Third Quarter W - 10 yd Run Layton (Kick Poon) 6:05 BR - 28 yd FG Tortorici 3:06 Fourth Quarter BR - 14 yd Run Lofton (Kick Tortorici) 9:17 BR - 4 yd Run Bamburg (Kick Tortorici) 2:58 Team Statistics GS BR Total Yards 259 313 Rushes-Yards 30-135 36-186 Passing Yards 128 127 Comp-Att-Int 17-33-4 5-16-1 Turnovers 4 2 Penalties 7-65 5-65 Sacks Against-Yds Loss 1-4 0-0 Individual Statistics Passing: W - Mize 16-25-122-0; BR - Harris 4-15-54-0, Bamburg 1-1-73-1 Rushing: W - Layton 20-78-1; BR - Lofton 5-52-1, Toft 8-47-0, Harris 11-49-0, Bamburg 10-35-1 Receiving: W - Knapp 4-45-0; BR - Sauers 1-73-1, Wooner 1-33-0