Eddie Yeager, 15, makes a solo sack during Friday night’s victory over the South Umpqua Lancers. Yeager’s sack on fourth down got the ball back for the Bruins and set up running back Chandler Dodd’s subsequent touchdown. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
The Bruins jumped on the scoring bandwagon early and never stopped moving as they rolled to a 37-20 victory over the Lancers of South Umpqua.
The Bruins forced the Lancers to turn over the ball on downs on the first possession of the game and kept up the defensive pressure throughout the game.
“They did a good job,” defensive coordinator Chris Schofield said. “They kept up the pressure.”
The Bruins’ first touchdown of the night came on a pass play from quarterback Jr. Helme to Chandler Dodd.
The point after was good as Fernando Villa put the ball through the uprights. Villa was 4-of-5 on the night for PATs.
The Lancers scored their first touchdown in the waning minutes of the first quarter, but outstanding defense by the Bruins kept the Lancers out of the end zone again until midway through the third quarter.
A Lancer punt partway through the second quarter bounced short of return-man Justin Schultz, but he caught it on the bounce and ran it back for a touchdown to put the Bruins up by a score.
A South Umpqua defender had to put his shoes back on after Schultz juked him off his feet at the 12-yard line before sashaying into the end zone.
With :44 remaining the Bruins had to settle for a field goal attempt which Villa put through the uprights without a problem to put the team up 17-6.
The Lancers were not content to ride out the clock into the end of the first half and on a pass play with 20 seconds remaining in the game, Chandler Dodd intercepted the ball and ran it for a touchdown.
The touchdown was the second for Dodd, and he would score a third in the fourth quarter. Each of Dodd’s touchdowns came on a different style of play: one by pass, one by interception and one by run.
With 6:08 remaining in the third quarter, Justin Murray returned a kickoff from the 32-yard line to put the Bruins up 30-12.
“I followed Dodd and C.J. and Darger,” Murray explained, “and the hole just opened up.”
South Umpqua scored near the end of the third quarter and used an onside kick to get the ball back, but an interception by Schultz returned the ball to the Bruins.
The fourth quarter was a war of defenses with the Bruins stopping the Lancers from scoring and the Lancers only allowing one touchdown by Dodd.
Eddie Yeager was a continuous thorn in the side of the Lancers as play after play found him sacking the Lancers’ quarterback.
“I was just going,” Yeager said. “My coach was smart enough to call the right gaps and sent me there. He called them, I shot them.”
Yeager had a crucial solo sack on fourth down that allowed the Bruins the ball back with four minutes left and set up Dodd’s 46-yard run.
“He had a big tackle on that fourth down,” Schofield said. “He was big for us all night.”
The Bruins finished out the game and tucked the 37-20 victory under their belt and now hold their breath for the OSAA rankings to shake out.
The Bruins stand to make a round-of-24 play-in game if their OSAA ranking remains high enough to make them one of the highest ranked teams remaining after all second and third-place teams have been seeded.
If the Bruins do make it, they will be traveling to face a team that finished second in its respective league.