After starting the 2022 campaign with three consecutive losses on the road, the Estancia Bears turned things around on Sept. 9 with their first home game and their first win of the season.

Estancia quarterback Ja’Brae Boyer threw a pair of touchdown passes—both to Aiden Boyle. Boyer also ran for three touchdowns, Boyle and Josh Calhoon added TD runs as the Bears throttled the visiting Escalante Lobos 48-18.

“We needed that one,” Estancia head coach Stewart Burnett said. “We would’ve been in a rough spot if we hadn’t pulled that one out.”

Boyer scored two of his rushing touchdowns in the first quarter. The first TD was an 11-yard run on the Bears’ opening drive. His second came on a 68-yard burst on Estancia’s next possession.

“We went up 14-0 fairly quickly,” Burnett said.

The Bears had a chance to go up by three touchdowns when they drove deep into Escalante territory. But the drive stalled when Estancia coughed up the ball at the 1-yard line.

Escalante capitalized on Estancia’s miscue, put together a long drive and got into the end zone to cut the deficit to 14-6 at halftime. “We kinda took our foot off the gas there for a minute,” Burnett said.

The Bears came out in the second half with their foot on the accelerator and took control.

Calhoon’s 18-yard TD early in the third quarter put the Bears up 20-6. He tallied 173 yards rushing on 17 carries.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Bears recovered an onside kick. That set up Boyer’s 43-yard TD strike to Boyle and a 27-6 lead.

Escalante took advantage of a Bears’ fumble on a muffed punt return and put together a scoring drive to make it 27-12.

On Estancia’s next possession, Boyle capped a three-play, 65-yard drive with a 48-yard touchdown run to give the Bears a 34-12 lead. Boyle finished with 53 yards rushing on three carries.

Escalante got into the end zone on its next drive for its final TD of the game.

Photo by Sherri Larson.

The Bears answered with a 60-yard drive that ended with Boyer tossing a fourth-down screen pass to Boyle who ran it in for a 15-yard TD to extend the lead to 41-18.

Boyer topped off his night with a 31-yard TD run. He led the Bears in rushing with 192 yards on 22 carries. He completed 8 of his 11 passes for 130 yards and the two passing TDs.

“We did a lot of good stuff, we spread the ball around, we had guys doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Burnett said, adding, “It was an absolute must-win, it was nice to be home and they played with a lot of energy—we just need to keep on that path.”