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Bear River bows out at Sonora

By: Rob McAllister Journal Sports Correspondent
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SONORA — For a team that allowed just 46 points through the first six games, it would have been almost unfathomable to think Bear River would allow a team to score 40-plus in a single contest. Then it happened in back to back weeks. After a 48-point loss to Colfax, the Bruins could not cure their defensive ails and watched Sonora run for more than 500 yards in a 42-20 victory in the first round of the Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. “It weird,” co-head Coach Scott Savoie said. “We haven’t been the same since that Placer loss. I don’t understand why. None of us can really get a pulse on it.” On a damp, misty evening in Tuolumne County, Bear River struck first with a trick play that worked for the second time this season. Fullback Jimmy Bamburg received the pitch in the backfield and as the Wildcat defense collapsed, the senior found wide out Harley Sauers for a 31-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Brandon Camera went 19 yards untouched to the end zone four minutes later, which would be the start of a string of rushing touchdowns for the half back. The junior finished with a school record 317 yards and five scores. Two of those runs went for 85 yards. The defense struggled, but so did an offense that charged deep into Sonora territory on four occasions. However the team that averaged 31 points a game this year could not convert and the Bruins were forced to turn the ball over on downs each time. “It’s kind of the story these last four or five weeks,” said co-head coach Terry Logue. “We drive the ball but we don’t get it into the end zone.” The Bruins did end the game with two passing scores. Quarterback James Harris found Sauers from 24 yards out early in the fourth quarter on what may have been one of the best throws the senior quarterback had all season. The post route came too late as did a final 80-yard catch and score from junior Dillon Smith to Tevyn Kimble in the closing seconds. Adding further pain, heavily recruited defensive tackle Dillon Huffman went down with a knee injury in the second quarter and did not return. Sonora moves on to the second round to face top-seeded Escalon. The Bruins finished the season 7-4.