BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Gene Wilcox – September 28, 2020
In heartbreaking fashion, the Bear River High School football team came up short at home in a 27-26 loss to Green Canyon High School on Friday, September 25.
The Bears will now travel to Hyrum on Friday, October 2, to tangle with Mountain Crest High School. The Mustangs are 0-3 in region play and are coming off a 29-0 loss to Region 11 leaders, Sky View High School.
The Green Canyon game started with Bear River running the ball and daring the Wolves to stop them. Bear River senior Kace “Bucket” Jones reeled off runs of 7, 12 and 10-yards. Senior Chance Udy pitched in with a nifty 8-yard pick-up and the Bears seemed to be in business. In eerily similar fashion to the Logan game, the Bears couldn’t punch the ball into the endzone settling for a 36-yard field goal by Izzy Varela.
Defensively, the Bears were up to the challenge of stopping Green Canyon quarterback Jake Lundin. Lundin was unable to run for yardage and was inaccurate in his pass attempts. When the first quarter ended the Bears were leading 3-0 and dominating both sides of the ball.
In the second quarter, Lundin was able to escape the defensive pressure and find a receiver behind the defense for a 40-yard touchdown throw and catch. The successful PA.T. gave the Silver Wolves a 7-3 lead.
The Bears answered back immediately with a heavy dose of Jones. Jones finished off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. The run was a confirmation of the monster game Jones was putting together. Varela’s P.A.T. was good, and at the half the Bears looked to be solidly in control with a 10-7 lead.
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The third quarter started with the Bear defense aggressively shutting down the Wolves’ offense. Unfortunately, the Bears lost containment on Lundin again. Lundin made the Bears pay by finding the same receiver behind the coverage, for a 69-yard touchdown pass and catch. The P.A.T. was good and Green Canyon took the lead 14-10 midway through the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears went to the well and again rode a steady dose of Jones who helped with a 20-yard reception by Bear receiver senior Cael Wilcox. Jones finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown. A penalty on the play moved the point-after an attempt up and the Bears went for a two-point conversion. Jones took the hand-off and strolled, untouched, into the end zone for two points. The score gave the Bears an 18-14 lead with 8:50 left in the game.
Defensively, the Bears were playing solidly but giving up the big play. The Wolves were again able to use Lundin’s scrambling ability to drive down the field. He was able to find a receiver open and completed a 35-yard fade to the corner of the endzone for a touchdown. The P.A.T. was wide, and with six minutes left, Green Canyon had a 20-18 lead.
The Bears were able to put together a nice drive with Jones hauling the rock to the 4-yard line. Udy finished the drive with a four-yard power run. With the Bears up by four, Bear River’s head football coach Chris Wise again elected to go for the two-point conversion.
Jones powered in for the conversion and with just over three minutes left, the Bears had a 26-20 lead. Jones’ big game accounted for 226-yards rushing, two touchdowns and two-2-point conversions.
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The kickoff was returned out to the 23-yard line where the Wolves had to go 77- yards with one timeout. Lundin was able to engineer the first sustained drive of the game, driving the Wolves down to the Bear River four-yard line. With eight seconds left, Lundin found a receiver who bulled into the end zone after a goal line catch. With the game tied at 26, the Bears were able to initially block the P.A.T. but an offsides nullified the blocked kick. The following kick was good and Green Canyon escaped with a 27-26 win.
As heart-breaking as the loss was, the Bears must now travel to take on the Mountain Crest Mustangs in Region 11 play. The Bears are getting close to a must-win game but could be bolstered by a return of senior Easton Lish, who suffered an injury earlier in the season. The game pits two teams both looking for their first region win of the season.