BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Tate Atkin, Headliner Sports Editor, September 27, 2022
Homecoming week at Bear River High is a fun-filled week not just for the students and faculty, but for the community to come together and celebrate with school spirit and show their school pride. Activities all week long lead up to the big football game on Friday night, and end with the school dance on Saturday.
Coming off their best all-around performance last week, Bear River High's football team hoped to use that momentum and pick up a homecoming win when they hosted Sky View High on September 23. Unfortunately, the Bear River fans, and student body didn't have much to celebrate or cheer about once the game got started.
Both teams struggled to get anything going offensively and traded punts back and back. The Sky View offense was the first to find their footing and have success. They drove the ball to the Bear River 15-yard line before they were denied a scoring chance when senior Jace Roberts intercepted the Bobcat quarterback.
Bear River's momentum was short lived as senior quarterback Ryker Jeppsen threw an interception on the drive, giving Sky View the ball back on the 20-yard line. The Bobcats took advantage of the opportunity and scored the game's first points with a short touchdown pass, taking the early, 7-0 lead.
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After again trading punts, Sky View moved into scoring position before turning the ball over, this time on a failed fourth down conversion. Bear River was unable to move the ball on offense and was forced to punt. The punt attempt by Jeppsen was blocked and Sky Views took over again at the 20-yard line. After being backed up to the 40-yard line, the Bobcat quarterback found a target for his second passing touchdown of the game. Sky View extended their lead to 14-0, the score they would take into halftime.
"Skyview is a very good football team. Their front on the defensive side of the ball is as strong as we have seen this year," said Bear River High's head football coach Trampis Waite.
Bear River's defense made plays early in the second half when they stopped Sky Views and forced a punt. After a great punt, the Bears started their drive on their own 3-yard line. The first big play offensively for Bear River was a 40-yard pass from Jeppsen to junior Owen Olsen, quicky flipping the field position.
That's when the penalties started stacking up for both teams. Bear River was forced to punt, but a roughing the punter penalty extended the drive. Bear River had their best field position of the game but moved backwards with a personal foul penalty. The drive ended with Bear River once again punting the ball away.
"I was most disappointed with the penalties that we had when we were driving and moving the football, we were hurting ourselves," said Waite on the penalties that hurt the Bears.
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Sky Views started the drive at their own 10-yard line after a great punt by Jeppsen pinned them deep. The Bobcats offense came to life, and they moved the ball up the field before ending the drive with their third passing touchdown. After a failed fake kick attempt, Sky View led 20-0.
The next few drives for both teams sputtered before ultimately ending in punts. After a punting battle between the two teams, Sky Views once again found the end zone through the air with their fourth and final passing touchdown of the game, pushing their lead out to 27-0.
Despite the large deficit, Bear River never gave up and kept playing. On their final drive of the game, the Bears finally gave the fans and students something to cheer about as sophomore Tydon Jones punched it in from one yard out with just 13 seconds left in the game, making the final score 27-7 in favor of the visiting Bobcats.
Rewatch the Bears' homecoming football game, including halftime shows, courtesy of Bear River Live on the links below.
"We just didn't get it done up front on the offensive side of the ball and some guys we rely on didn't have their best game. The main focus this week is getting better at every position and focusing on ourselves. We have to find guys that we can rely on. We are working through some growing pains and I know we have a good group of kids that will be ready to go back to work," Waite said.
Next up for the Bears is a home game against Ridgeline High School on Friday, September 30. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Can't make the game in person? No worries! Bear River Live has you covered! Watch their live-streaming coverage starting at 7 p.m. on the link below.
Photos by John Fronk