The thing about Firth’s final drive, about the stop Bear Lake needed to seal its 14-6 win in this 2A state championship game Thursday night at Holt Arena, is that it never felt in doubt. It felt inevitable. It felt like, faced with the nigh-impossible task of corralling lightning-quick quarterback Gage Vasquez and all the Cougars’ other playmakers, the Bears never blinked. They never faltered, never hesitated, never abandoned all the ideals that led them on this wondrous journey to begin with.

So after Bear Lake completed the series, jogging off the field after yielding barely 10 yards, the Bears began to celebrate. They hugged each other. They laughed. They looked up at the stands, where most of their town of 6,000 stood in support, soaking in the moment for everything it meant: Bear Lake’s first-ever state championship. A sublime season completed. A win on the stage where the Bears had never been before — but where they danced like their names were all Michael Jackson.

Tyler Beresford Bear Lake FB

Bear Lake junior Tyler Beresford goes to the ground after picking up yardage during Thursday's 2A state championship game against Firth.

Bear Lake title pic

Bear Lake players pose with the 2A state championship banner after defeating Firth on Thursday night.

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