Pierce football rolls over Willows

Ramon Paiz tackles a Honker ball carrier in Friday's game in Willows.

Pierce’s football team was nearly perfect in the first quarter of Friday’s Sacramento Valley League contest against the Honkers in Willows: The Bears’ offense scored a touchdown on each of their three first-quarter drives, while their defense forced three three-and-outs and allowed just 13 yards.

It wasn’t until their first drive of the second quarter that Pierce had their first negative play, when quarterback Dutch Kalfsbeek was sacked for a six yard loss on a second down from their own 36-yard line. The following play, Kalfsbeek handed the ball to junior running back Gabe Villa, who weaved across the field and back, juking by, spinning around, and running through a host of hapless Honkers defenders en route to a 70-yard touchdown.

Villa’s video-game-like play hammered home the fact that the Bears were the more talented team on Friday, but it was his team’s consistency and sharp play that left head coach Michael Barber feeling satisfied after the final whistle sounded, and the Bears had earned a 49-6 victory.

While the final score of their homecoming game against Live Oak the week prior was similar to Friday’s outcome in Willows, the Bears were sharper and more focused against the Honkers.

“We just came focused and ready to play this week,” Barber said. “We had a better week of practice this week, and it translated to the game.”

Pierce struck first just three minutes into the first quarter when Curtis Vaughn carried multiple Willows defenders into the end-zone on a six-yard rushing score, which capped a seven-play, 51-yard drive. They scored again when Dutch Kalfsbeek connected with Gabe Villa connected on a 15-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. Kalfsbeek scored again, this time on the ground, from a yard out – which put the Bears up 21-0 before Villa’s huge touchdown run further widened the gap.

The Bears’ lone defensive miscue of the game was a big one – resulting in an 81-yard touchdown pass from Willows’ Jack Martin to Logan Blair – but that was all the Honkers could muster on the night.

Pierce scored once more in the first half – this time a 46-yard Kalfsbeek keeper that saw the senior outrun the entire Willows defense along the Honkers’ sideline – which put the Bears up 35-7 at the intermission.

The starters played one more series in the second half – putting together a 11-play, 65-yard scoring drive that culminated with another Vaughn touchdown run – before many of them headed to the sideline, the game well in hand.

Tommy Davis rounded out the Bears’ scoring with a 47-yard touchdown run near the end of the third quarter as Pierce cruised to the 49-6 win.

Dutch Kalfsbeek finished with 77 yards on the ground and two touchdowns, and was 3-for-7 for 70 yards and a score through the air. Gabe Villa led the Bears in rushing, with 122 yards and a touchdown on six carries, and added 18 yards and a touchdown as a receiver. Tommy Davis finished with 104 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Brian Pearson
Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.