The Bears are back. A convincing 44-34 win over Payson last week has the Bears riding high as they head back into region play. Bear River is 4-3 on the season and 1-2 in region.
This week the Bears will play on Thursday night at Park City. The Miners are 3-4 this year and 3-0 in region play. A win for the Bears will put them right back in contention for a high playoff seed. “Park City is on the rise. They took care of Ben Lomond pretty good,” said Bear River coach Chris Wise. “Coach Shepherd is a veteran and he’ll have his team ready to play us.”
It was the Bear River defense that started things off for the Bears last week with two fourth down stops before the offense got things going. Jared Olsen kicked a 26-yard field goal for the first points of the game.
After a Payson touchdown the Bears marched the ball down the field with 1:29 left in the first quarter and would not let the Lions have the ball again until the clock read 4:30 left in the second quarter. In all of that time the Bears had a touchdown pass from JarDee Nessen to Bridger Beus. McKade Mitton ran in a two-point conversion. Olsen kicked an onside kick that was recovered by Kurt Wronkowski. Jeramie Selman had a 10-yard touchdown run. Olsen kicked a second onside kick—this time it was recovered by Tanner Porter. That drive ended in a fumble, but the Bears came out with a 17-7 lead.
After Josh Fraser’s interception Nessen ran for a touchdown to go up 24-7. Payson scored before the end of the half to make it a 24-13 game.
Right out of the locker room Nessen hit Colton Jensen for a 61-yard touchdown. Porter snagged a Payson pass that lead to a Bear River touchdown from Nessen to Lund. Nessen’s second touchdown pass to Jensen put the Bears up 44-21 with just 4:53 remaining in the game.
Payson scored a pair of harmless touchdowns before time expired.
“We put a full game together,” said Wise. “When we do that we can do very well. I was really proud of what these kids did.”
Although Payson scored 34 points the Bear River defense was great. “We had lots of sacks and played great run defense,” Wise explained after the game. The Lions rushed for just 94 yards and the Bears caused three turnovers.
The offense got back on track this week. Nessen threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns, and he ran for another score. Selman rushed 21 times for 79 yards and a touchdown. Jensen continued to be a big play threat and had seven catches for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
1 2 3 4 – Final
Bear River 3 21 7 13 – 44
Payson 7 6 8 13 – 34
Stat Comparison Bear River Payson
First Downs 16 19
Rushing Yards 98 94
Passing Yards 262 267
Total Plays 73 80
Total Offense 360 361
Turnovers 2 3
Penalties – Yards 10 – 85 2 – 29
Nessen – 17-31/261/4/1
Selman – 21/79/1
Jensen – 7/140/2
Lund – 4/56/1
Beus – 1/6/1
Interception: Fraser, Porter
Fumble Recovery: Lund
Sacks: Lewis, Pugsley 1.5; Jeppesen, Mitton, Roberts – 1
Tackles: Mitton – 15; Lewis – 7; Beus, Gibbs, Pugsley – 6