The Central Valley Bears climbed above .500 for the first time this season as they thrashed the Lewis and Clark Tigers 28-0 last Thursday at Joe Albi Stadium.
The Bears (3-2) lived up to their moniker as they proved to be too strong for the Tigers (1-4) on both sides of the ball.
After both teams punted on their first possessions of the game, a heavy dose of CV running backs Spencer Miller and Hayden Worlehammer helped the Bears muscle the ball down to the Tigers 15-yard line before quarterback Adam Chamberlain found Worlehammer on a bootleg pass for a 15-yard touchdown to give CV a 7-0 first quarter lead.
After another LC punt, CV took over possession on its own 32-yard line. After a completion to Beau Byus, it was Miller time as the Bears pounded the Tigers defense with run after run eventually moving the ball down to the one yard line before Worlehammer punched it in for his second touchdown of the day and giving CV a 14-0 lead with 35 second left in the first quarter.
On their third possession, LC was able to move the ball on the Bears defense thanks in large part to the legs of quarterback Andrew Black and speedy running back Coleton Fitzgerald. Black was able to move the ball down to the 9-yard line after a second down scramble but would have to leave the game after taking shot to the head. Backup quarterback Tyler Hojnacki entered the game but made the ultimate mistake on a third and goal play from the three yard line, throwing a pass late in which Chamberlain intercepted and returned 99 yards for a CV touchdown giving the Bears a 21-0 lead with less than eight minutes left in the half.
Black would renter the game for the Tigers on the next possession and moved the ball efficiently with the help of Fitzgerald, but was also intercepted inside the red zone, this time by JP Benson.
Central Valley was content with the 21-0 lead and ran out the clock to head into halftime.
The second half was much the same for the Tigers as they consistently moved the ball but couldn’t score points. Hojnacki led the Tigers offense in the second half for the injured Black, but it was Fitzgerald who was the workhorse with his 37-yard run helping LC move the ball to the 10-yard line. But after being tackled in the backfield on consecutive plays, the offense couldn’t capitalize as Fitzgerald and the Tigers had to settle for a 34-yard field goal which sailed wide left of the goal post.
CV would punt on their next possession and the Tigers failed on a fourth down conversion to end a scoreless third quarter.
The teams replicated that sequence at the start of the fourth quarter as CV punted on their next possession, and LC responded with a failed a fourth down attempt.
Backup quarterback Tanner Sloan hit backup running back Jackson Axtell on a rollout touchdown pass with 1:31 left in the game to cap off the scoring.
Miller rushed led the Bears on the ground with 22-carries for 128 yards while Worlehammer led the Bears with two touchdowns. Fitzgerald rushed for 179 yards on 29 attempts for the Tigers in the losing effort.
The Bears will take on the University Titans tonight (Friday) at 7 at University High School.