East Nicolaus has been the dominant power in the area over the past five years winning four straight section titles while losing just a total of seven games, however, the Bears, who last beat the Spartans in 2013, had a score to settle and did just that to post one of the biggest wins in Anthony Tapia’s three-year tenure.
“I’m a very proud coach,” said Tapia. “We used the whole team in every key situations and they responded really well. It truly was a great team win.”
After holding the Spartans on the game’s first possession Pierce got on the board after completing their initial drive when quarterback Eduardo Paiz hit fullback Kaden Davis for an eight-yard touchdown, then ran in the two-point conversion making the score 8-0.
Luke Voorhees came up big halting the Spartan’s second possession, intercepting a pass that gave the Bears the ball at the East Nic 42 yard line.
Following a long run by Eduardo Ambriz that took the ball into the red zone, Manny Lopez found pay dirt from five yards away then proceeded to add on the two-point conversion making the score 16-0.
The Pierce defense struck again just minutes later when Justin Mathews made the interception and turned it into a 30-yard pick-six, with Lopez again tacking on the two-point conversion.
In the second quarter, Mauricio Ordaz’s fumble recovery set up the Bears’ next score as Paiz connected with Mathews on a 38-yard scoring play, increasing the Bears advantage to 30-0 going into halftime.
Pierce’s final score of the game came in the third quarter as Paiz completed a 14-yard pass to Ryan Travis for the touchdown.
Although the Spartans added a fourth-quarter score, it was too little too late and the Bears could celebrate a long-awaited victory.
On the day, Lopez finished with 55 yards on 11 carries, Ambriz rushed five times for 53 yards while Paiz completed four of 12 passes, three of which were touchdowns.
Defensively, Davis led the team with seven tackles and a forced fumble and Brandon Saavedra added two sacks.
Things don’t get easier for the Bears (2-0) this week however as they head to Paradise’s Om Wraith Field on Friday to take on the Bobcats in a battle of unbeatens.