High school football: Bear River finishes strong to get past Spanish Fork in 4A playoffs

In a game that was back and forth the better part of the first three quarters, Bear River was able to outlast Spanish Fork and pull away late, coming away victorious 47-33 in the first round of the 4A high school playoffs on Friday.

Bear River scored 27 second-half points and the defense came up huge in crunch time, grabbing two crucial interceptions in the fourth quarter on their way to the victory.

The offenses for both teams wasted no time, with both teams trading field goals on their first possessions to start the game.

Spanish Fork was able to take the lead later in the quarter, taking advantage of a Bear River turnover, and Spanish Fork running back Kaden Vest powered his way into the end zone on a short 1-yard run, giving the home side a 10-3 advantage.

Bear River tied the game up with seconds to go in the half on a short 1-yard run by Tydon Jone, knotting the score up at 10.

After Bear River won a high-scoring third quarter 22-17, the Bears were able to pull away thanks in part to a couple of key interceptions by linebacker Tyson Braegger and safety Gunner Christensen that allowed quarterback Owen Olsen and the Bear River offense to do their thing.

Olsen ran it into the end zone from two yards out midway through the final quarter to extend the lead, and a 3-yard run by running back Talon Marble with just over 2 minutes left in the game sealed the deal and secured Bear River’s place in the next round of the playoffs.

Olsen carried his team to victory by throwing for five touchdowns and the one rushing touchdown.

Bear River head coach Trampis Waite was very proud of his quarterback’s performance but was even more impressed with the way his team was able to stick with Spanish Fork and overcome the adversity that it faced.

“We just kept with the script. We have a lot of playmakers. I put all of my trust in our quarterback and our (offensive) line did a terrific job. We just stuck to the plan, and it obviously worked out for us,” said Waite.

“I’m really proud of our kids. I knew that we had a tough and gritty team. We didn’t really handle adversity really well during the season so to be able to go back and forth with Spanish Fork and do that today was huge.”

Bear River will have a familiar foe waiting for them in the next round in Sky View.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game, but we were right there with them when we played them last time and we just got to continue to fight through adversity and understand what’s going to happen on Friday nights, because that’s going to be a tough football game and we just need to battle,” Waite said.

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