Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported the final score as 52-0 instead of 52-6. The Pilot regrets this error.
Capping off one of their best seasons in recent history, the Bruins hit the first round of the 3A state playoffs against the Amity Warriors Friday night. The Warriors came out hard in the first half to secure a wide 24-0 lead and refused to give the Bruins any space to breathe as they ended at an uncontested 52-6.
“We had a couple chances there early to make some great stops offensively defensively, but we got dragged down and weren’t able to get back and score,” said Bruins coach Shaun Bavaro.
The Bruins earned a spot in 3A state playoffs by ending their season ranked No. 15 in the OSAA 3A rankings. This won the Bruins an at-large bid to fill one of four open spots in the 3A bracket after the 12 top teams had been chosen based on their individual league placements. The Warriors ended their regular season ranked No. 2 in the 3A rankings before facing the Bruins in the first round of playoffs.
The Bruins received at the start of the game and mounted a strong drive to start, but the Warriors defense soon started laying on the pressure by consistently making their way into the Bruins backfield. The Warrior scored soon after taking possession in the first quarter but missed the extra point.
After kicking off to the Bruins, the Warriors made another hard stop before taking back possession for another strong drive and touchdown. They missed the extra point again and wrapped up the first quarter at 12-0.
The second quarter mirrored the first, with the Warriors making two stops and scoring two more touchdowns with no extra points. The Bruins managed to grab a fumble halfway through the quarter, but the Warriors took it back immediately after with an interception. The half drew to a close with the Warriors ahead at 24-0.
Immediately after receiving in the second half, the Warriors led with a strong drive that ended in a touchdown and two-point conversion that took the score to 32-0. The Bruins were unable to find their footing against the Warriors aggressive defense, leading to another two touchdowns and a two-point conversion for the Warriors as the third quarter wrapped up at 46-0.
With the clock left running, the Warriors made one last drive for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to take things to 52-0 and then took a knee on the extra point. The Bruins received with three minutes left in the game and were able to score a single touchdown by Kelvonte Dawsey, but missed a two-point conversion pass from Derek Bonde to Andrew Burger to end things at 52-6.
“Overall, I was excited. It was really just something new for the program and it got us another week of practice,” Bavaro said. “A lot of these playoffs get to being so good because they have almost a second season to keep playing every year.”
With their season now officially over, Bruins plan to host their annual awards ceremony sometime within the next few weeks to wrap things up. After that, they’ll pick things back up in January as they prepare for their 2019 season.
The Bruins went 5-5 overall this season and 2-3 in league to end at fourth place in the OSAA Special District 2. The Warriors will go on to play the Nyssa Bulldogs and Willamina Bulldogs in the quarterfinals.
Information for this article was provided in part by KLYC Radio at http://www.klyc.us/.