Colton falls to 1-4 after loss to Big Bear, 28-16

The rescheduled game presents lots of obstacles for the Yellowjackets who fall short in second half comeback


J. Dollins

Bears QB Sean Garvey finds himself trapped by three swarming Yellowjackets, forcing an incomplete pass.

Big Bear, CA—With the week four game against Big Bear rescheduled as a road game in the aftermath of the Radford fire, Colton traveled high into the San Bernardino mountains to face the Bears on Thursday night, losing 28-16.

Excuses were there for the taking. The elevation of Big Bear, which stands at 7,000 feet above sea level had Colton’s linemen gassed all night. The poor lighting, provided by stadium lights Big Bear rented especially for this game since they usually play home games on Saturday afternoons, made it hard to track the ball. The grassy field at Big Bear Middle School, where the game was played, was uneven and filled with gopher holes. And the cold made for a hard ball and hard hands.

Then there was the inadvertent whistle with around 4 minutes to play. After quarterback Gabriel Aparicio hit receiver Raymond Ramirez for a 16-yard touchdown to bring the game within striking distance at 28-16, the Yellowjackets still needed a couple miracles, but they had all three timeouts and the momentum. Special teams kicked the ball onside, and it bounced off the hands of Big Bear. Colton recovered, and the sideline erupted with hope.

Hope was squashed when the officials called back the play after the referee on the far side of the field inadvertently blew his whistle before the ball was touched by Big Bear. The play was dead before it even happened.

Despite all the excuses, the Yellowjackets accepted none of them as they walked off the field and returned home to get ready for next week’s Homecoming game against Fontana.

The night was a tale of two halves. Starting slow has become a trend since week two of the season for Colton, with the defense digging early holes by giving up touchdowns the offense struggles to climb out of as they work out their rhythms.

In the first half, the home team put on a good old-fashioned rout, taking a commanding 14-0 lead after the first quarter, and going into the half up 20-0. Bears’ quarterback Sean Garvey threw for a 16-yard touchdown on Big Bear’s first drive, then on their second, running back Nathan Cole pushed through the Yellowjacket defense for another.

Going into halftime, Colton looked exhausted and without answers for Big Bear. As they emerged from the break, it seemed the packed visitor section was about to be treated to more of the same, with the defense giving up another touchdown to go down 28-0.

But the Yellowjackets figured something out midway through the third quarter. Aparicio found connections with Ramirez and Alex Juarez for big gains, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Juarez.

Momentum shifted to Colton, until the inadvertent whistle, and the game ended in Big Bear’s hands.

Colton’s record is now 1-4 as they head into Skyline league play starting next week against 1-4 Fontana for Homecoming.