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.
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.”