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SPORTS - “Ridgeline Tramples Bears on Senior Night”

Updated: Oct 3, 2022

Aiden Wilson, September 30, 2022 - Photo by John Fronk

BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Tate Atkin, Headliner Sports Editor, October 3, 2022

It wasn't quite the way the Bear River High football team wanted last Friday night's game to end, especially for those seniors on the team.

The Bears hosted the 2021 4A state champs from Ridgeline on September 30. But first set aside time to honor the following seniors for Bear River High's Class of 2023.

  • #2 Ryker Jeppsen

  • #6 Weston Ballard

  • #10 Kase Avery

  • #14 Gavin Haws

  • #16 Landon Russell

  • #18 Braegger Richards

  • #44 Fierce Miller

  • #53 Jeshua Koch

  • #56 Grifin Wright

  • #61 Kaden Zaugg

Many of the seniors have already played a lot of big moments for the Bears and have been leaders for this year's team and include team captains Jeppsen, Richards and Zaugg.

"Although we only have 10 seniors, I am thankful for each one of them. They have been showing up with a positive attitude each day. It has been a fun year so far with them," said Bear River High's head football coach Trampis Waite.

As far as the actual game went, field position played a crucial role in Friday night's outcome, starting with the opening kickoff. Ridgeline received the opening kick and returned it all the way to the Bear River 15-yard line, where the returner was forced out of bounds by the kicker, Kyver Jensen. The Bears defense took the field with their backs against the wall. After a first down, the defense held strong and forced a turnover on downs after coming up with two huge stops from the 1-yard line.

Starting at your own 1-yard line is not an ideal situation for an offense, but they did their job gaining a first down before punting and flipped the field position battle when the punt went all the way to the Ridgeline 28.

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Kyver Jensen, September 30, 2022 - Photo by John Fronk

The Ridgeline offense was successful moving the ball once again into the red zone with big runs and passes. For the second straight possession, the Bear River defense forced a 4th down in the red zone. This time the Ridgeline offense was able to find the end zone with a short pass, taking the early lead, 7-0.

Bear River started their next drive at their own 20-yard line. They offense started coming together and moved the ball across midfield and reached the 15-yard line before turning the ball over on downs after a failed attempt on 4th down.

This time the defense took the field with the advantage as Ridgeline would have to drive the length of the field to score. Ridgeline completed a short pass and the Bear River defense quickly swarmed around the receiver. Senior Fierce Miller flew across the field and punched the ball out, forcing a fumble. Junior Aiden Wilson was in the right place at the right time and recovered the ball for the Bears.

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Owen Olsen, September 30, 2022 - Photo by John Fronk

With outstanding field position, the Bear River offense looked poised to even the score. After a couple of short runs, the Bears quickly found themselves with a 4th and goal from the 5-yard line. A pass play was called, and senior quarterback Jeppsen rolled to his left and looked to get a touchdown pass but the ball was intercepted and returned to the 25-yard line.

"Ridgeline is a good football team. They did a good job of looking for mismatches. Bottom line is we need to put up points on offense to help out our D," said Waite on the offenses' lack of scoring.

Ridgeline had all the momentum after coming up with the interception and it carried over into the offense. The Riverhawks quarterback found a receiver deep down field, and after a broken tackle, Ridgeline now had the ball at the 5-yard line, ready to score. They scored on a short pass and extended their lead, 14-0

Bear River had another offensive possession before halftime but turned the ball over to Ridgeline who ran out the clock and ended the half.

Bear River started the second half on offense but was unable to get anything going and was forced to punt. Ridgeline kept the momentum on their side and drove down the field before punching it in for their third touchdown of the game.

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With the Riverhawks now leading 21-0, they tried an onside kick and caught the Bear River return team off guard. Ridgeline Recovers the kick and started their drive at midfield. After once again getting into the red zone, Ridgeline again found themselves in 4th and short. The Bears defense again came up huge with a stop on fourth down from a tipped pass by the defense.

Again, the Bear River offense started deep in their own end zone. They were unable to move the ball, and the drive ended in another Bear River punt from their own end zone. The punt made it just across midfield, again giving the Riverhawks excellent field position.

Ridgeline converter on a 3 and long to keep their drive going and moved the ball into Bear territory. On their next 3rd down, Bear River got an offsides penalty and gave Ridgeline another set of downs. A big run moved them inside the 15-yard line and gave them another first down. Bear River forced yet another 4th and short inside the 10-yard line and again the Bears stopped them.

On the one hand, it was a huge stop for the defense and on the other hand, it had the Bears offense the ball inside the 10-yard line again, forcing them to try to move the length of the field to score.

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Ryker Jeppsen, September 30, 2022 - Photo by John Fronk

After a quick three plays, again Bear River punted from their end zone. This one made it to the 35-yard line, again giving Ridgeline outstanding field position. They quickly moved into scoring position and on 3rd and one, threw a pass for a 15-yard touchdown.

Bear River's offense got one more possession and junior quarterback Owen Olsen put together an impressive drive with deep passes and long runs. Penalties pushed them back and ultimately ended the game with the Bears falling to the Riverhawks, 28-0.

Rewatch the game, courtesy of Bear River Live, on the links below.

The Bears' loss to Ridgeline now puts them 2-6 overall this season. Trailing behind in Region 11 with an overall record of 1-3, it currently puts the Bears in last place in their region.

Up next for the Bear River High football team is a trip to Hyrum where the Bears will face Region 11's Mountain Crest High on Friday, October 7, at 7 p.m.

Watch as the Bears take on the Mustangs with live-streaming coverage thanks to Bear River Live on the link below.

Photos by John Fronk

Jaden DeCoursey, September 30, 2022 - Photo by John Fronk

Jace Roberts, September 30, 2022 - Photo by John Fronk

Ryker Jeppsen, September 30, 2022 - Photo by John Fronk

Tydon Jones, September 30, 2022 - Photo by John Fronk


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