Most Viewed Stories
Bears dominate 1st half, beat East Nic
A steady dose of dives and counters from the Pierce High offense wore down East Nicolaus and kept the Spartans offense off the field for nearly the entire first half.
The Bears ran 45 plays of offense to just six from East Nicolaus as they built a 20-0 lead at halftime and rolled on in the second half to a 32-6 victory Friday night at Gregg LeMaster Field in Arbuckle.
Pierce ran 23 plays before the Spartans touched the ball on offense. The Bears used a 15-play opening drive to take a 7-0 lead and on the ensuing kickoff, Jose Garcia forced a fumble and Adrian Martinez recovered it. Another clock-eating drive gave Pierce a 13-0 lead before East Nicolaus ran its first play on offense, which was the final play of the first quarter.
After struggling with mistakes and losing starting quarterback Oscar Sanchez to a sprained ankle in a loss to Hamilton last week, the Bears (2-1) made few mistakes and ran their signature triple-option offense to perfection with junior Jake Voorhees under center.
Pierce amassed 401 yards, 396 of them on the ground, on 76 plays while the Spartans managed just 94 total yards on 17 plays.
While the Bears moved the ball at will, they do so in small chunks. Their longest play from scrimmage was a 19-yard touchdown run by Adolfo Ramirez with 30 seconds left in the first half.
"It's just that good feeling knowing that you're in control and you're the big man on the field," Ramirez said.
Ramirez finished with 149 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries, and fullback Saul Mendez ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Sophomore running back Garrett Brainard for 47 yards on seven carries.
"We fixed all our mistakes from last week, we practiced so hard every day. We knew (East Nicolaus) would be a tough team but we kept pushing it and pushing it and we ended up with the victory," Ramirez said.
Most of East Nicolaus' offense came late in the fourth quarter when they marched 71 yards on eight plays and scored their only touchdown, 2-yard run by Jeffrey Limary.
Spartans fullback Malika Williams broke runs of 20 and 27 yards to set up Limary's touchdown and finished with 44 yards on five carries. Limary added 20 yards on four carries.
The Bears hounded quarterback Zach Schuler every time he dropped back to pass He completed 3 of 12 passes for 18 yards, and rushed for 12 yards on six carries.
East Nicolaus coach John Dolenga entered the game with the plan to run the ball and switch to the spread if that didn't work, but injuries sapped the team's depth and the smash-mouth Pierce offense hammered the defense.
"With what we've got going, we have linebackers out, we've got guys missing all across the board but you still have to play," Dolenga said.
He hopes the team can heal up in time for next week's game against strong Biggs team.
Pierce will have Sanchez back at quarterback next week when the Bears host Williams, but Voorhees handled the job effectively in his absence.
Voorhees rushed for 43 yards on seven carries and completed 1 of 3 passes for five yards. His performance impressed coach Scott Burnum.
"You have to (have a quarterback who is a threat to run), that's why it's called the triple option," Burnum said. "That was big, we ran the ball, our line blocked great, you could see many times they were down field blocking."