SPORTS – “Bears let the win slip away"

LOGAN – By Gene Wilcox – September 20, 2020

Izzy Varella, Sept. 18, 2020 - Photo by Andy Marchant

In a season that is starting to be defined by close games, the Bear River High School football team let “close” slip away, losing a tight game to Logan High School, 21-18, on Friday, September 18, in Logan.

The Bears will need to put together a better all-around game next Friday, Sept. 25, at home when they host Green Canyon High School, who is coming off a 10-6 loss to Mountain Crest High School stopping a three-game losing streak.

Bear River started the varsity game off like they were going to light up the scoreboard. On the opening possession, senior quarterback for Bear River, Josh Payne, immediately drove the Bears down the field. Big runs by seniors Kace “Bucket” Jones and Chance Udy, paired with timely throws by Payne, put the Bears inside the Logan 20-yard line with a first down. The Bears were hit with multiple penalties, a sack, and came up short on fourth down, turning the ball over.

Defensively, the Bears were poised to stop the Grizzlies’ spread passing game but were not expecting Logan’s draw running game to be surprisingly potent. Mathew Mason, a transfer from Payson High School, gouged the Bears for big yardage on first downs and was able to pick up big chunks on third and fourth down. Logan drove downfield on the opening possessions and scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass. With the P.A.T. being true, the Bears found themselves down by seven with barely three minutes into the quarter.

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In the second quarter, Logan put together another sustained drive and scored on a five-yard run by Mason. The P.A.T. was again true and the stunned Bear faithful looked on as Bear River was down 14-0 in the second quarter.

The Bears finally got onto the scoreboard when Brazilian kicker Izzy Varella, hammered a 45-yard field goal to end scoring for the half.

The second half started out promising for the Bears. With Logan taking the kick, the Bear defense rose-up and forced a punt. The Bears marched downfield aided by Gabe Dwaileebe’s great 34-yard reception. With the ball inside the five-yard line, Payne rolled out and found senior Cael Wilcox in the end zone for a touchdown throw and catch. Varella’s P.A.T. was true, and the Bears had closed the gap to 14-10 half way into the third quarter.

Defensively, the Bears had figured out Logan’s run game, but the passing game proved to be a different story. Logan answered the bell by immediately driving down field and scoring on a 27-yard fade pass to D1 receiving prospect Jaylen Sargent. The score gave the Grizzlies a 21-10 lead with the extra point.

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Logan High School, Sept. 18, 2020 - Photo by Andy Marchant

In the fourth quarter, the Bears finished a long drive with Jones’s three-yard touchdown run. Jones then picked up the two-point conversion to bring the Bears within three points at 21-18. Jones looked to be heating up after nearly breaking several long signatures runs.

In the fourth quarter, Bear River seemed to find bad luck at every turn. After forcing, and nearly blocking a punt, the Grizzly punter got a favorable roll and the punt rolled inside the Bear 10-yard line. The offense was not able to convert and had to punt. Dwaileebe’s great punt put Logan back to their own 30-yard line.

Again, the Bears forced a punt and a pretty Garrison Marble return gave the Bears the ball inside the Logan 50-yard line. On the first play, Payne rolled to his left and threw a pass that looked as if it might find a Bear River receiver behind the defense. Unfortunately, the Grizzly safety flashed in and made an athletic interception to end the drive.

With time ticking down, Logan was able to pick up some timely first downs and milk the clock for a 21-18 homecoming victory.

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Josh Payne and Kace Jones, Sept. 18, 2020 - Photo by Andy Marchant

The loss puts a damper on the Bears’ hopes of possibly claiming and beating Sky View on the last game of the region for a three-way region championship. It does not end what will be a strong Bear River varsity football team in the state playoffs.

The Bears will need to learn from the game when they take on a good Green Canyon High School team this Friday in Garland starting a 7 p.m. Green Canyon is coming off a close 10-6 victory over Mountain Crest. The Wolves are 3-3 on the year and look to salvage a season that started with high expectations.

Photo coverage provided by Andy Marchant Photography

https://andymarchantphotography.pixieset.com/