SPORTS – “Despite strong start, Bears fall short against Falcons”

CLEARFIELD HIGH SCHOOL – By Justus Wise, Headliner Sports Writer – August 23, 2021

Bear River High's Bryan Lemus, August 20, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

The Bear River High School football team traveled to Clearfield Friday, August 20, to face off against their 6A opponent the Clearfield High School Falcons. The Bears, having suffered a devastating loss against the Morgan High School Trojans the week before, carried a chip on their shoulder and with a fantastic week of practice behind them they came out swinging in the first half.

The first quarter, though largely uneventful, was a massive improvement from the previous week. The Bears clicked in ways that were missing against Morgan High the week before - the offensive line sustained blocks, catches were made, and the running game remained open throughout the entire game.

Despite these improvements, the score remained zeroes until the second quarter when Bear River’s Alec Callister punched it into Clearfield’s end zone from the two-yard line. An extra point kicked through by Ammon Nelson punctuated the Bear’s first touchdown of the season and gave the Bears the lead. The Falcons held the Bears to the singular score until half.

The Bears, having now tasted the lead, entered the second half wanting more than the first half had to offer. Watching from the stands the energy from the sidelines was palpable and was then compounded early in the third when junior Ryker Jeppsen connected with Callister for a 10-yard touchdown.

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Bear River High's Alec Callister, August 20, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

The Falcons, it seemed, were ready to yield to the freight train that was the Bear River High football team until a third quarter “once-in-a-lifetime never-going-to-happen-again catch” by Clearfield’s Joshua Queel reignited their drive. The Falcons scored once in the third and then three more times in the fourth quarter. The Falcons, after a completely classless deep pass with less than 20 seconds left in the game, gave the Bears’ offense one last opportunity to score. This attempt would prove fruitless.

The Bears fell to the Falcons 27-14.

When asked about the game, Bear River High’s head football Coach Chris Wise had nothing but good things to say about the young team.

“I was very pleased with the week before to this week. I was pleased with how much growth we had. It was the way we came out and battled and fought that really let me know what type of team we have. I think that playing a 6A team, and they have numbers as a 6A team, and we have so many guys playing both ways, I think eventually that caught up with us. That’s going to become less and less of an issue the longer we go through the season and the more conditioned our guys become,” Wise said.

“I was so pleased with Alec Callister. He went both sides of the ball. We were missing some key weapons in Kaeson Burn and Garrison Marble this game and so Alec really stepped up and filled that hole. I was very pleased with the team,” he added.

Callister, a senior at Bear River High and the undisputed player of the game, ended the night with 46-yards rushing, 91-yards passing, two touchdowns and three tackles. Jeppesen, having come back from an injury sustained the previous week, had 200 passing yards, 46 rushing and three tackles. Senior Wyatt Roberts held up the defensive side of the ball with six tackles, one sack and one tackle for a loss.

The Bear River offense ended with 200 total passing yards and 105 rushing.

“Of course, moral victories aren’t really something you want to be hanging your hat on but preseason is preseason and is a way to get better each week and I think as long as we keep getting better and better, we can do it,” Wise said.

The Bears will travel to Madison High School in Rexburg, Idaho on Saturday, August 28, at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast online courtesy of Bear River Live at www.brlivestream.com

Photos by John Fronk

Jace Roberts, August 20, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk
Talon Marble, August 20, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk
Jesse Navejas, August 20, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk
Diego Gonzales, August 20, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

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