PASO ROBLES — This past weekend, the Bearcats invited 14 different schools to Paso Robles for a two-day passing league tournament and a lineman competition on Friday. Schools from around the area joined others from north and south as Mission Prep, Grace Brethren, Big Valley Christian, El Diamante, St. Bonaventure, San Luis Obispo, Segerstrom, Aquinas, Atascadero, Crescenta Valley, Sierra Canyon, McFarland, Soledad, combined with a B team from both Paso and Grace Brethren to create four pools for group play.
The first four teams mentioned in the list made up group A with the next four making group B and so on with each team playing all the schools in their group on Friday to position themselves for the playoffs. The lineman competition, which included events like the bench press, tire flipping, bear crawling, sled pushing and any other drill that promotes the scared football psalm of “low man wins,” was held on Friday night following the conclusion of the Friday 7-on-7.
It was the 2018 2-AA State football champion Grace Brethren Lancers that won everything over the weekend winning both the lineman competition on Friday and the passing league tournament on Saturday. On their way to the championship, the Lancers faced off with the Bearcats and knocked them out of the tournament winning 36-24. Touchdowns in the tournament counted for six points and were followed up with an extra point. Teams could choose whether they wanted to go for one point or two with the former coming at the 5-yard line and the latter coming from the 10-yard line. Interceptions counted for three points and were deemed dead at the change of possession.
The Bearcats and Greyhounds each played three games on Friday but experienced different results albeit against different levels of competition that can be chalked up to some home-field advantage. In Paso Robles’ first game of the passing tournament, they faced off with a familiar opponent in the San Luis Obispo Tigers and won a tight game 18-16. In game two, the Bearcats faced off with St. Bonaventure and was able to have their way as they cruised to a 28-7 victory before falling in their final game Segerstrom narrowly 30-27. The Bearcats also entered the lineman competition with two teams but neither team made it into the final four but did score points overall. El Diamante finished in second place in the lineman competition.
The Greyhounds went 0-3 in their three games on Friday facing some tough competition starting with Sierra Canyon who lost by two points in the 1-A CIF state championship game last December. Atascadero also faced off against two playoff teams from a year ago in Aquinas and Crescenta and with no i-formation, it was no contest.
It was state champions against state runner-up in the passing league finale as Sierra Canyon and Grace Brethren played it out for the title with Brethren taking home the championship.