Photo By Team Submitted - #12 Owen Teuscher
Written by Brandon Hill
Just 16 points separated Bear Lake from a trip to the state semifinals in 2019.
The Bears were hot on a four-game winning streak down the stretch of the 2019 season, with a perfect year marred only by losses to South Fremont and eventual State Champion West Side. Bear Lake earned its bid after an opening-round win against Firth, securing a fifth-seed spot in the playoffs.
But Bear Lake dropped a 36-20 contest to fourth-ranked Melba, ending an otherwise successful season.
Fourth-year Head Coach Ryan Messerly has overseen the retooling of a middling program that saw one of its best seasons early in his tenure. In 2018, the Bears won just a single game against Rich (UT), making year three for Messerly even more impressive. With multi-purpose quarterback Owen Teuscher returning for his senior season, the Bears look primed to build off last year’s domination.
“Execution, execution, execution on every play,” Messerly said. “Details make perfection and perfection is not a detail.”
The Bears will be without last year’s standouts in Tiagan Criswell and Kody King. Both, Messerly said, were incredible leaders on and off the field.
“Tiagan Criswell was a three-year starter and was an amazing leader,” he said. “Kody King will be missed because of his ability to read and reacted to every play.”
Offensively, Bear Lake was not known for lighting up the scoreboard. The Bears averaged 21 points per game in a grueling 2A South East Idaho Conference, third-best in a five-team conference.
Defensively, the Bears were much more productive, allowing an average of just 10 points per game, second-best behind West Side. The squad also posted four shutouts, including a lopsided 40-0 blowout against Soda Springs.
Bear Lake matches up against defending State Champion West Side Sept. 25 at home, likely a conference title determining game.
Check back with IdahoSports.com for updated Bear Lake scores and schedules throughout the season.