PASO ROBLES — The much-anticipated football rematch between Paso Robles and Arroyo Grande did not disappoint for those that packed the War Memorial bleachers on homecoming night.
The Bearcats came into the game with a 2-5 record on the season while the Eagles entered at 4-2 and after Friday’s win left as the No. 3 ranked team in
The Bearcats have played one of, if not the most, difficult schedules this year having played and lost to each of the top four teams in the Central Section.
While Paso Robles lost to the Eagles, 35-21, they went toe to toe with the highly ranked team for three and a half quarters.
The Bearcats opened the game with Hunter Barnhart under center and came out with one of their best drives of the season. The opening drive was a 13-play, 80-yard drive that overcame two penalties negating first downs on third down and ended in a Nathan Garcia touchdown run. Most of the drive took place on the ground through a variety of looks including quarterback runs and jet sweeps.
The Bearcats then forced a fumble on the corresponding AG drive but were victim to an unlucky interception when Seth Maldonado took a hard hit going across the middle causing the ball to bounce into the air and into the diving arms of an Eagles’ defender at the Paso Robles 24-yard line. Then James Gilmet rushed down to the 2-yard line on the next play and a quarterback sneak tied the game at 7.
The Eagles then scored on their next drive on a 70-yard touchdown run by Gilmet on a
Paso Robles started a drive down 14-7 with 3 minutes and 22 seconds to go in the first quarter and put together another great drive this time mostly through the air. Barnhart completed passes to Kaden Gallant, Levi Marshall, Maldonado, and Marshall Weisner on the drive completing a 10-yard touchdown to tie the game. The Bearcats kicked the ball back to Arroyo Grande with only 1:06 left in the half.
With less than a minute in the half, the Eagles drove the ball down the field and scored once more on a quarterback sneak to suck the momentum out of the stadium going into the halftime festivities.
The Bearcats forced a three and out on the opening drive of the second half and promptly drove the ball down the field for another score. Another completion between Barnhart and Weisner, this time for 19 yards, got them into the red zone where after a few plays Garcia punched it in.
The Eagles responded with a long methodical touchdown drive of their own retake the lead, 28-21, and then held the Bearcats scoreless for the remainder of the contest. Penalties killed a few of Paso Robles’ second-half drives by placing them behind the down and distance and taking them out of the flow of their offense. Twice Paso Robles was penalized for delay of game before the first snap of a new drive.
Now, 2-6 overall the Bearcats will get a much-needed bye week as they look to get healthy and ready to finish their season strong. Next Friday Paso Robles welcomes the no. 7 ranked St. Joseph Knights into War Memorial