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Bear River can't keep up with Central Catholic

Bruins suffer 63-20 defeat in Modesto
By: By Mike Ray / Gold Country News Service
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MODESTO - A tough trip and rugged opponent made for a long evening here Friday night for the Bear River football team.
 
Matched up against one of the state's small-school powerhouses in the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Div. IV football playoffs, the Bruins were game but couldn't recover from an early hole they put themselves in and ended up on the short end of a 63-20 drubbing at the hands of Central Catholic.
 
Despite the lopsided final score as the somber Bruins gathered following the game in the end zone for their final post-game huddle of the season, the words of co-head coaches Scott Savoie and Terry Logue hit Friday night's effort by the Bruins right on the head.
 
"When you walk out of here tonight have your heads high and chins up," Savoie said to his squad. "You just played a very good football team and your effort tonight was outstanding. We didn't win but it wasn't because of lack of effort."
 
The Bruins, who finished 8-3 overall on the season, put themselves behind the eight-ball early on as the Raiders capitalized on an interception and fumble recovery - both deep in Bruins territory - to build a lightning quick 14-0 lead on two touchdown runs from Ray Lomas and Rey Vega just four minutes into the contest. After Lomas capped yet another short drive with a one-yard plunge with 1:37 to play in the opening quarter, Central had built its lead to 21-0.
 
"We knew we had to come down here and get off to a good start," Logue said. "And when that didn't happen it could have been a whole lot worse by halftime. But the kids battled back and hung in there."
 
Following Central's third score of the night, the Bruins settled down on offense and responded with an 80-yard drive that took just seven plays when quarterback Dillon Smith hit Tevyn Kimble on an 11-yard scoring pass.
 
A Jake Savoie sack of Central quarterback Garrett Ardis late in the second quarter enabled the Bruins to put together another impressive march that was capped with 1:27 left in the half when Kimble hauled in a perfectly thrown pass by Smith from 13 yards out. That trimmed the Central margin to 21-14. The key plays in the Bear River push were Smith's passes of 16 yards to Kimble and 10 to Andrew Reiss and a 17-yard quarterback draw from Smith.
 
But as all good football teams will do, the Raiders answered the Bruins salvo with one of their own. Staring from the Bruins 42 after a good return on the ensuing kickoff by Nate Loya, Central covered the distance in six plays and scored with just 22 seconds left in the half when Vega scooted over from eight yards away.
 
Down 28-14 to start the third quarter, the Bruins allowed a 36-yard burst by Lomas that set up his eventual nine-yard scoring run that put the Raiders up, 35-14.
 
The Bruins, however, wouldn't go away as a pair of Smith passes for 19 and 35 yards to Kimble set up Brad Botsford's eight-yard touchdown run on a draw play that whittled the Central lead to 35-20 with more than eight minutes to go in the third quarter.
 
But just as fast as the Bruins' followers started to get vocal to support their squad, Vega silenced the comeback when he took a handoff on the first play after the kickoff and bolted 65-yards off tackle for six points and a 42-20 advantage.
 
"We knew we couldn't get in a shootout with them," Logue said. "That score we gave them right before halftime really hurt us."
 
Lomas and Vega, running behind a huge offensive line, overwhelmed the Bruins defense. Lomas carried the ball 13 times for 143 yards and scored three touchdowns while Vega added 11 rushes for 119 yards and four more scores.
 
Bear River's Kimble had a huge game in his final prep appearance as he caught 14 passes for 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In the air Smith was 19 of 27 for 226 yards.
 
"We had a good season," Savoie said. "It was tough to end down here like this but we're proud of how hard our kids played."
 
Central Catholic will advance and play at Ripon next week in the second round.