SPORTS – “Tension rise on the turf during annual Powderpuff game"

BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Justus Wise, Headliner Sports Editor – September 16, 2021

Kate Dahle, Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

It is no secret that the annual homecoming week Powderpuff girls’ football game is the biggest event of the entire school year at Bear River High School.


For all of Bear River High it is bigger than the World Series, the World Cup and World War II combined.


Girls train year-round for this one night, this one chance, to seize everything they ever wanted. One moment. Would they capture it? Or just let it slip?


On the night of September 15, 2021, this year’s Powderpuff game did not disappoint Bear fans who have been waiting an entire year for this demonstration of Bear River High spirit. It did not come without its controversy.


“It was fun even though I hate some people right now,” said one junior girl at Bear River High who wished to remain anonymous.

“All those stupid juniors can eat Butkus,” said senior IKE EVANS. Whatever that means.


What had these classmates so torn? We shall find out.


The juniors, replete with white jerseys and war paint, started off with the ball. Junior Kate Dahle took the helm as quarterback and rushed for an astonishing 750 yards on the night. Their first possession, however, would end without a score.

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Senior Zoe Sorensen, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

The seniors took over, their blood red jerseys glimmering in the late afternoon sun, on the 50-yard line. Senior Zoe Sorensen took control as quarterback and ran the ball 187 times in the first half alone.


She was described as a “one woman wrecking ball” and it was truly a sight to see.


The seniors’ first drive was an impressive march down into the red-zone, but junior Savanah Pierson denied access into the end zone. The juniors took control on their own 20-yard line. A beautiful 30-yard catch off a defensive tip by Lexi Westmoreland, the pride of Park Valley, plus a penalty against the seniors, set the juniors up nicely in the red-zone.


Although the seniors’ defense played hard, Westmoreland finished what she started and scored on a pitch from Dahle. Senior Avery Folkman responded with an incredible 100-yard touchdown run. The seniors celebrated in style in the end zone. Each dawning a fake paddle and sitting down to paddle a fake canoe.


It was the most incredible thing this writer has seen in his lifetime. I can guarantee you that.


The score remained 7’s for everyone going into halftime.

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2021 Bear River High "guy leaders" - September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurly

After a nauseating performance by the “guy-leaders,” the senior girls took over but could do nothing on their first possession.


As the juniors took over and began marching down the field, an interception by the one-woman wrecking ball herself, Zoe Sorensen, put the ball back in the seniors’ hands. A flag tying penalty and lockdown defense from the juniors gave the seniors a loooooooooong fourth down.


The seniors elected to punt, a beautiful kick that could have grazed the bottom of an airplane, the juniors bobbled the ball and senior Carlee Miller recovered it. Folkman practically walked into the end zone after that. The seniors took the lead and, to those of us in the stands, it seemed that the seniors would win without question.


The senior defense went 3-and-out and the juniors were forced to punt. A fundamentally perfect stop by junior Emma Payne stopped the seniors from converting a first down and possibly scoring again, the juniors took over from their own 40-yard line. Excellent field position and in prime position to score.


This is where the game gets controversial.


The clock was against the juniors but that did not stop them from attempting to score. A trick play by quarterback Dahle and then a crowd-silencing catch by Gracie Riley put the juniors in the red-zone. The seniors ‘defense was falling apart, and it looked like the game would be entering overtime.

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Bear River High juniors, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

Dahle, for the last play of the game, attempted to run the ball in herself. She was, unfortunately, tackled before making it in. Because she was tackled, a penalty followed and the juniors were given one last chance to score, now from the two-yard line.


The electricity in the air was palpable. Juniors and seniors alike began to cheer for the underdog as they were mere inches away from scoring. Dahle, once again, attempted to run the ball in and was stopped. Her flags got ripped off almost at the exact same time the ball crossed the plane.


The stands looked to senior official Chris Wise for conformation, and he called the ball dead. Seniors win.

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Bear River High seniors, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurley

A heartbreaker indeed. But not all juniors would take this as fact. Many would need more convincing than what was possible to give.


Junior Gracie Riley, who rushed for 608 yards that night, stated, “Nice thing they had to cheat to win.”


“We should have won; they were playing super cheap,” added Payne.

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2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurley

However, when asked, the seniors were certain that their win was legitimate.


Parker Macfarlane had this to say.


“This was a really big win for us. This is two years in a row. We have a 1.0 winning record,” Macfarlane said.

A perfect Powderpuff record that will follow the class of 2022 for the rest of their lives.


Coach Carson Pond was proud of his defensive tackle Kynlie Davis who made the game winning stop.


“It was my starting D-tackle that made the sack to end the game. We are all proud of her and what she has done for us this season," Pond said.


Coach Jesse Navejas replied with a similar response. “Great game out there for sure. Our line was doing good all night and our D-line got the stop there right at the end,” he said.


“It was a good game that we definitely won,” Coach Sawyer Davis said matter-of-factly.


Coach Ammon Nelson said it frankly. “We won.”

“We had a good win tonight. We earned every yard,” exclaimed Mike Evans.


And finally, the final authority on the matter, Shelbie King, one of the many versatile weapons that played for the senior ended all debate when she pronounced.


“We are the best. That’s all you need to know,” Shelbie King said.

The 2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game will live in infamy until the end of time. It doesn’t matter what side you are on, however, we can all appreciate the majesty of this annual display of prowess.


Photos by John Fronk and John Hurley

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurley

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurley

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurley

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Fronk

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurley

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurley

2021 Bear River High Powderpuff game, September 15, 2021 - Photo by John Hurley