JarDee Nessen has been chucking the ball all over the field during his senior year, but Friday night in Tooele, the Bear’s quarterback put on a clinic. Nessen went 26 of 34 for 492 yards and seven touchdowns. Yes, seven. He also ran for a touchdown.
The first game for Bear River and Tooele in the new 3AA North Region was an exciting show from two explosive offenses. It was Nessen’s party with the Bears winning 62-48.
Bear River’s entire offense was on point against Tooele reaching the end zone in its first seven drives. At halftime the game looked like it was over with the Bears leading 41-27, but the Buffaloes scored on back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter to keep it interesting.
On the third play from scrimmage, Nessen found his favorite target, Colton Jensen, for a 42-yard touchdown. Nessen punched it in from the 1-yard line on the next possession putting the Bears up 13-0.
Ryan Brady answered with a long run to pay dirt for Tooele’s first score of the game. Bear River finished the first quarter with Nessen finding Cole Fronk for a 7-yard touchdown pass, and the Bears were rolling 20-7.
Stratton Atherley scored the next two touchdowns for Tooele—a run and a kick return. Jake Brady would add three touchdowns for the Buffaloes, and Adam Pace ran for a score. But the Bear River offense was too much to overcome on this Friday night. The Bears ended every drive with a touchdown except for a pair of second half punts.
Nessen’s protection was incredible behind one of the state’s best offensive lines. Branson Fonnesbeck, Justus Wise, Carson Gibbs, Braden Pugsley, and Parker Lewis were dominant in the trenches. As a core they have been varsity starters for three years and it is paying off.
Brady Parker scored on a 21-yard pass from Nessen in the second quarter. Nessen followed that up with a 72-yard touchdown strike to Jensen. Bear River coach Chris Wise dialed up another Nessen to Jensen play for a 37-yard score to finish the first half. 239 of Jensen’s 283 receiving yards came after the catch as he showed his track speed translates easily to the turf. Jensen caught 10 passes with three going for touchdowns.
Taylor Lund ran for 105 yards on 22 carries as the work horse for the Bears. He scored his touchdown early in the third quarter.
Nessen ended his outing with two more touchdowns to Fronk, who finished the game with seven catches for 60 yards and three touchdowns.
3AA North has some offensive fire power. Juan Diego scored 69 points, Bear River went for 62, Tooele had 48, and Stansbury scored 35 Friday night.
Casey is a husband, father of 3, USU alum and Utah high school sports fan living in Smithfield, UT. Follow him on twitter @caseyzundel and find more of his work at tremontonleader.com.