The Bear River football team traveled to Morgan to renew their rivalry with the Trojans. After knocking off the Trojans last year in Garland, the Bear gridders knew this talented and undefeated Morgan squad would be looking for some revenge.
Morgan had yet to give up any points in their first three games, so it was ironic that the first points given up in 2019 came on a safety. The Bears’ special teams pinned Morgan deep in their own territory. Junior safety Darien Johnson timed his blitz perfectly, catching the Morgan quarterback in the end zone for a two-point safety. With a 2-0 lead, Morgan kicked off to the Bears, who started the drive with great field position.
Senior quarterback Renn Fonnesbeck was able to strike quickly, hitting sophomore wide out Garrison Marble, running a post over the middle. The perfectly thrown pass and catch covered 56-yards. With Porter Tackett’s P.A.T. being true, the Bears found themselves leading the Trojans 9-0 entering the second quarter.
In the second quarter, Morgan’s offense came to life, aided by some costly penalties and missed tackles. The Trojans scored on a quick-strike, 31-yard touchdown and nailed the P.A.T. to close the score to 9-7.
The ground game for the Bears started to struggle, and the Trojans were able to send multiple look Blitz’s to pressure and sack Fonnesbeck on obvious passing situations. After a short punt, Morgan was again able to find the end zone on an 11-yard touchdown pass. The first half ended with Morgan leading the Bears 14-9 in a tightly contested game.
The second half started the way the first half ended, with Morgan scoring on the opening drive. The Trojans were able to set up the score by completing a long pass to the goal line. A critical “roughing the passer” penalty negated a stop by the Bear defense, enabling Morgan to sustain the drive. Morgan scored another touchdown to end the third quarter and the Bears were looking at 27 unanswered points, since their 9-0 lead.
The fourth quarter started poorly for the Bears when quarterback Renn Fonnesbeck was pressured and sacked on consecutive plays. The ensuing punt from Wyatt Shaeffer was blocked, giving Morgan excellent field position. Bear River’s defense stiffened, holding Morgan to field goal, increasing the lead to 30-9 with nine minutes left in the game. The Trojan’s offense tacked on one more touchdown before calling off the dogs.
Bear River was able to put one last drive together, culminated by a 12-yard touchdown reception from Fonnesbeck to junior wide-out Josh Payne. When the gun sounded, the Bears had lost a 37-17 game to a very good Morgan football team.
With region play starting next week, the Bears must have a short memory going forward. The Bears should have the services of some of the many injured players, who should make a huge difference in the scheme of the game.
The Region 11 opener will start with the Bears tangling with Ridgeline in Providence. The River Hawks are coming off an emotional 16-13 loss to Highland, Idaho, where Ridgeline had built a 13-0 lead in the second quarter. The River Hawks are 2-2 on the season, and the game looks to be an important early Region 11 match up. With players coming off the IRL for the Bears, it should be a great Region-11 opener.