The state football playoffs returned to Garland as the Bear River Bears hosted the Ben Lomond Scots in a first-round playoff game on Friday, Oct. 25. The Scots put up a valiant effort, but ultimately were overwhelmed in the Bears’ 31-0 victory.
The Bears will now travel to St. George to play a talented Pine View team. The Panthers are the Region 9 champions and are riding a seven-game winning streak. Ironically, the Panthers dropped their season opener to Region 12’s last-place team, the Ridgeline Riverhawks, in a 58-56 shootout. The game will be played Friday, Nov. 1 with a 4 p.m. start time.
The Ben Lomond game featured a gritty Scots team that was able to keep it close for a half. Neither team was able to get much going on the offensive side of the ball. The nasty Bear River defense stepped up and was more than capable of handling the Scot offensive squad. Bear River’s front was relentless on the rush, and with the addition of freshman defensive tackle Jeshua Koch, the Bears were fresh and aggressive.
The Bears drew first blood when Bear River senior kicker Dallas Moyes drilled a 35-yard field goal. This first-quarter score was the only points put up by either team. When the half ended, the Bears were in a closer than expected, 3-0 battle with Ben Lomond.
The second half opened with the Bears turning up the physicality on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Bears were looking to add to their streak of seven quarters without giving up a touchdown. Sacks by Justice Dworshak and Jeshua Koch, and an interception by senior cornerback Colt Lish, helped limit the Ben Lomond cause.
The Bear offense was unable to score in the third quarter, but was showing signs of life. Junior halfback Corbin Kierstead reeled off multiple runs of 14, 23 and 12 yards. In the fourth quarter, junior tailback Chance Udy finished the drive with a two-yard touchdown run. With the touchdown, the Bears opened the floodgates. Senior quarterback Ren Fonnesbeck hooked up with senior wideout Colt Lish on a pretty 27-yard touchdown throw and catch. Not to be outdone, Chance Udy, who is coming back from an injury, ripped off a 35-yard touchdown run.
The Bears finished the fourth quarter onslaught with Derek Dean’s five-yard touchdown run. When the game ended, the Bears were 31-0 victors. The Bear offense was finally able to get untracked. Kierstead had a solid game with 112 yards rushing on 14 carries. Fellow halfback Chance Udy looked good with 79 yards rushing and two touchdowns on seven carries.
Defensively, the Bears were “lights out,” getting a shutout and extending their streak to nine quarters without surrendering a touchdown. The Bears will need a great defensive effort and some offensive firepower to knock off a solid Pine View team.
Should the Bears pull off the upset, they would face the winner of Green Canyon and Cedar City the following weekend.