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Friday Football Primer

Bruins brace for new-look Falcons

Colfax running attack the focus for Bear River defense
By: Journal Sports Staff
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One opposing running back with big-yardage capabilities gave the Bear River High football team all it could handle last week. Colfax will bring two to Lake of the Pines this week. The kickoff time for the teams’ Pioneer Valley League opener was unsettled at press time due to a possible postponement. Fourteen Bear River players either missed school or had to go home Thursday due to an outbreak of the flu at the school, according to Bruins co-coach Terry Logue. A decision will be made this morning concerning whether the game, originally scheduled for 7:30 tonight, will be moved to Saturday. Check AuburnJournal.com for the most up-to-date information. Whenever the game gets under way, Bear River will have to stop Colfax senior Pat Rawlins and junior Josh Moreno, who combined for 385 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons’ 31-21 victory over Union Mine last Friday. Rawlins and Moreno combined for just 75 more yards than Woodcreek senior James Nunley had by himself last Friday in a 35-34 loss to Bear River. “They’re both great players,” Bruins co-coach Scott Savoie Said of Rawlins and Moreno. “Both are fast, slashing running backs, and hopefully we will not give up too many big plays — we gave up a few of those to Mr. Nunley. Our game plan is to make them work for their yards instead of big-playin’ us.” While three of Nunley’s four TDs against Bear River came on runs of 65, 33 and 58 yards, the Bruins (2-1) had just two runs longer than 11 yards in the entire contest. Senior fullback Cole White led the Bear River offense with 111 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns. Bear River ended a seven-year losing streak against Colfax last season. The Bruins have not won a home game against the Falcons since 1999, according to Logue, which should add fuel to an already intense rivalry. “The electricity in the stadium whenever Colfax and Bear River play each other is the coolest part for the kids,” Colfax coach Tony Martello said. “I’ve never been to a Texas football game, but I think Bear River-Colfax would be a lot like Texas football,” Savoie said. “There are always going to be people there and they are going to be into it.” Mesa Verde (1-2) at Placer (3-0) The Hillmen enter Pioneer Valley League play coming off one of the biggest regular season wins in the last decade. Placer edged Casa Roble 31-30 last Friday in Orangevale – the latest win in a sensational start to the season. Seniors Asher Gotzmer and Dalton Dyer both ran for more than 100 yards and the Hillmen defense was very strong, giving up three touchdowns and one field goal to the talented Rams. The Mavericks are headed to the Golden Empire League after this season. They’ve been overmatched in the PVL and will be a huge underdog tonight. Mesa Verde does have one of the top running backs in the PVL in senior Sir Johnson. He’s averaging 107 yards per game. The Mesa Verde secondary has been impressive with five interceptions in three games. Merced (0-3) at Del Oro (3-0) The Golden Eagles are No. 1 in the NorCal Division II rankings by CalHiSports.com this week. But coach Casey Taylor isn’t looking past the talented Bears. Merced beat Del Oro 21-14 last season on its way to an 11-2 overall record. The Bears lost to St. Mary’s in Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title game. But much of that team is gone and Merced has struggled with losses to Bullard, Edison and Napa to start the year. Meanwhile Del Oro has flourished, led by senior running back Bryce Pratt. The Eagles led Franklin 55-6 at halftime last Friday and are averaging over 46 points per game. Sierra Rite of Passage (1-2) at Foresthill (2-1) The Wildfires come off a strong performance at Galt in a win over Elliot Christian. The Rams, from San Andreas, beat Valley Christian 18-12 last Friday. Golden Sierra (0-3) at Marysville (0-3) Both teams are seeking to get in the win column as they open up Golden Empire League play. The Grizzlies have suffered lopsided losses to larger schools in the non-league slate. The Indians have scored three touchdowns total in losses to Wheatland, Yuba City and Gridley.