Is Bear River this good? Are Miners really back from the dead? We’ll find out starting tonight

 

Is Bear River’s football team as dominant as it appeared to be when it flattened its 5 non-league opponents? Is Nevada Union back from the dead after 5 seasons of truly horrible football?

Well, it’s hard to tell as both team begin league play tonight because their opposition to date has been less than formidable.

With 13 players back from last year’s section championship team, the Bruins are expected to do well–they should be a year better (experience does that at their age) and they know they can win tight games.

BR has started the season like a house on fire, winning each of its games by an average of 45 points. The Bruins have scored 50 or more points 3 times and 49 points twice. Meanwhile, their defense have given up just 31 points.

But then you look at teams they played: A combined record of 7-18. Just one of them has a winning record. So how good are the Bruins?

Tonight’s league opener against Center (4-1) should provide a partial answer to that questions. Center is by far the strongest team BR has faced this season, and if my power numbers are accurate, should lose a close game to the Bruins.

After enduring almost a decade as the punching bag for the Sierra Foothill League, Nevada Union has dropped down 2 notches in class to join the newly formed Foothill Valley League.

The Miners appear to be improving as the season progresses, going into tonight’s league opener against Placer on a 3-game winning streak  after dropping their first two. That’s more wins than they’ve had in an entire season for several years.

But non-league records can be deceiving. The Miners’ 3 wins have come against teams with a combined record of 1-14 while the 2 teams that beat them are 6-6 at this point in the season.

Placer (5-0) is the first team NU has faced this season with a winning record, and the power numbers suggest things will not got well in Auburn tonight. On the other hand, Placer is one of the few teams NU has played well against in recent years, and beat last year’s section championship team.

Here are my predictions for tonight’s league openers involving the Foothill 4:

Bear River over Center by 3.5 points

Placer over Nevada Union by 44 points

Foothill over Colfax by 20 points

*                *                *

Three of the Foothill 4 enter league play with perfect 5-0 records, and all of them have winning records. But all 4 teams played soft non-league schedules so it’s difficult to decide if these records are for real or mirages.

We’ll start finding out for real tonight. Here is each school’s power rating going into tonight’s games:

  1. Bear River          5-0          134.1
  2. Colfax                  5-0          132.1
  3. Placer                  5-0          128.2
  4. Nevada Union   3-2            86.9
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