SUTTER CREEK — The future is bright for the Summerville Bears, especially on offense.
Wideout Jake Fulkerson, a sophomore, snagged two long touchdown passes from junior quarterback Bryce Farrell, and senior Brendan Brick ran for two more, but the Bears could not overcome Amador’s surging offensive attack and fell 47-27 in a Mother Lode League gameFriday night.
Fulkerson finished with five receptions for 103 yards, the first time a Bears receiver has gone over the century mark this season, and added 9 yards rushing on two carries.
“We have a lot of talent at the younger level, a couple of great sophomores that we have playing for us,” said Farrell, who completed 11 of 21 attempts for 166 yards and two TDs. “They have a lot of heart.”
Summerville came hitting hard from the first whistle, forcing the Amador Buffaloes to turn the ball over on downs on their first possession.
On its very next drive, the Bears pressured Amador into a punting situation on 4th-and-16, but the snap sailed over the punter’s head for a loss of 26 yards in a scoreless opening quarter.
With the ball at the Amador 15, the Bears were in prime position to score the first points of the game. A Fulkerson run went for zero yards. Humphrey Quirie gained four off tackle. And after two Farrell incompletions, Summerville handed the ball right back to Amador.
“The defense played a great first quarter and really worked hard, and did some good things to give us an opportunity for the offense,” said Bears head coach Ben Watson. “I really felt if the offense came out to play tonight, the defense played well enough in the first quarter that we could’ve jumped on them and made them have to force some stuff. But we didn’t. The offense didn’t take advantage of the good play the defense was giving us.”
Amador scored three straight TDs (a 15-yard run, a 19-yard pass and a 63-yard scamper) to take a 21-0 lead in the second quarter.
Aided by a big Quirie kickoff return into Buffalo territory, Summerville answered on a five-play, 39-yard drive, capped off by a Brick end zone plunge. After a successful two-point conversion run by Brick, the Bears cut the gap to 21-8 at halftime.
The Buffaloes then took a commanding 27-8 lead to open the second half, but again, Brick and Summerville answered.
Farrell marched the Bears 75 yards and completed four passes during the 11-play drive. Brick scored on an 11-yard blast up the middle to bring the score within 27-15.
But Amador’s offense did not shut down on senior night, reeling off another score to make it 33-15.
Then Farrell and Fulkerson, who had been shutout in the first three quarters, found paydirt. Farrell hit Fulkerson on a quick slant, and he outraced the Buffalo defenders for a 42-yard TD.
And Amador, operating clinically on offense, kept pace with Summerville. Just nine plays later, the Buffaloes found the end zone for another TD.
On the Bears first play on the ensuing possession, Farrell connected with Fulkerson for a 35-yard TD to make it 40-27 with 5:07 remaining in regulation.
“They made a couple of passes and routes,” Watson said. “It ended up being a good play. There were some good plays. Kids were playing hard.”
The Buffaloes ended any hopes of a late Bears comeback with their final touchdown on an 11-yard sprint to seal a 47-27 victory.
“We’ll bounce back,” Watson said. “They’re great kids. They’re coachable. I wouldn’t want to be with anybody else. We just got to be a little bit more consistent and not make mistakes.
“We got two home games left, they’ll play their hearts out,” Watson added. “I got confidence that they are going to do that. I love them to death. We just have to make sure that we’re getting everything out of them. We’re going to keep working. I know the kids will keep working, and we’re going to do the very best we can the rest of the year.”