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Paso Robles Bearcats dominate Righetti Warriors, 40-12 

Christian Erickson, Paso Robles Bearcats, football

Paso High’s Christian Erickson, pictured carrying the ball down the field for the Bearcats, had 20 carries for 125 yards and a TD reception before an injury forced him out of the game in the Friday’s 40-12 victory over Righetti. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Railsback

Paso Robles varsity football team remains undefeated at 9-0

Cooper Silva, PRHS Bearcats

Paso Robles Bearcat Cooper Silva brings down a Righetti player. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Railsback

The Paso Robles High School varsity Bearcats traveled to Santa Maria Friday to take on the Righetti Warriors in a PAC-5 battle and brought home a 40-12 Halloween night victory over the Warriors. Rain affected football games across SLO County, and the wet weather would prove a limiting factor in the Bearcats’ explosive passing game –but it did little to hinder Paso’s ability to dominate the Warriors.

On the Bearcats’ first possession, a series of solid runs by Christian Erickson and a 13-yard pass completion to Bailey Gaither set up Paso Robles for a 23-yard field goal by Bryce Pasky. Paso had a 3-0 lead with six minutes left in the first quarter

Righetti started their next drive just as the predicted heavy rain began to fall. The combination of the wet conditions and a strong Bearcat defense would limit the Warriors — who were playing without seven of their starters, including running back Deandre Thomas — to only one first down in the first half.

Bailey Gaither, PRHS Bearcats, football

Paso’s Bailey Gaither moves the ball past a Righetti player in the Bearcats’ 40-12 win over the Warriors on Friday night. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Railsback

Early in the second quarter, the Bearcats began a drive from their own 28-yard line. Quarterback Justin Davis completed a 19-yard pass to Gaither, and the Bearcat offensive line created holes for Erickson on three running plays to put Paso at the Warrior 16-yard line. Davis dropped back to pass and connected with Erickson on a screen pass up the middle for the Bearcats’ first touchdown of the night and, with Pasky adding the PAT, Paso took a 10-0 lead with 8:37 remaining in the first half.

Heavy rain and gusty winds throughout the game resulted in several fumbles and the Bearcats were able to capitalize on a Warrior fumble at the Righetti 21-yard line. Pasky kicked a 36-yard field goal through the stormy weather as the Bearcats increased their lead to 13-0 just prior to halftime.

Paso Robles began the second half without running back Erickson, who suffered an unknown leg injury during the first half. Erickson had 20 carries for 125 yards and a TD reception. His replacement, Mark Armstrong, proved to be just as effective as the Bearcats continued to overpower the Warrior defense.

Justin Davis, Christian Erickson, PRHS football

Paso High quarterback Justin Davis hands off to Christian Erickson during a rainy, windy Halloween night of football against Righetti. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Railsback

The Bearcats started a drive from their own 38-yard line on their second possession. After two runs by Armstrong of 9 and 20 yards, a long pass from Davis to Gaither at the Righetti 10-yard line was incomplete — but pass interference was called and the Bearcats got the ball at the Warrior 28-yard line. Armstrong ran it to the 10-yard line and, after a short pass from Davis to Jonathan Baldwin, he ran off left tackle for an apparent touchdown. But a penalty on the Bearcats nullified the score and took Paso back to the 15-yard line.

Davis, who finished at 6-10 passing for 81 yards including two TD passes on the night, connected on a screen pass to Gaither on the right. With the Warriors forcing Gaither to change direction, he was able to run back to his left, take advantage of blocks by the Bearcats’ line, and weave his way into the end zone for a touchdown. The PAT by Pasky was good and the Bearcats took a 20-0 lead with 5:26 left in the third quarter.

The Paso defense forced the Warriors to punt once again and the Bearcats gained possession of the ball at their own 35-yard line. Armstrong gained 23 yards on his next two carries and a pass to Baldwin picked up 15 more yards to put the Paso at the Righetti 19-yard line. Two more runs by Armstrong had the Bearcats at the 5-yard line before he capped the drive with a run up the middle for a touchdown. The PAT by Pasky was good giving Paso a 27-0 lead just prior to the end of the third quarter.

PRHS Bearcats football, Warriors

The Bearcats and Warriors battled it out on a wet and windy night of football action. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Railsback

In the fourth quarter, Armstrong continued to impress as he carried four times for 46 yards, setting up the Bearcats at the Warrior 2-yard line .Armstrong would finish the game with an impressive 15 carries for 145 yards and one touchdown. Fullback Kasey Millsap took the hand-off and scored on a 2-yard touchdown run up the middle. The PAT was good and Paso was on cruise control with a 34-0 lead with 11:25 remaining.

Adding a bit of excitement to their Senior Night, the Righetti Warriors managed to score a touchdown with 1:52 left in the game but a fumble on the snap for the PAT made the score 34-6.

On the ensuing kickoff, Paso’s Tristin Durfee fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line, quickly recovered it, and proceeded to scamper 99 yards through the Righetti defenders for another Bearcats touchdown. The snap on the PAT was fumbled and Paso led 40-6 with 1:37 left.

The Warriors were able to move down the field on the next few plays, then called timeout with one second remaining in the game and the ball on the 1- yard line. As time ran out, Righetti (1-3 league, 4-5 overall) scored their final touchdown of the night, but it would not be enough to catch the Paso boys as the Bearcats claimed a 40-12.

Paso Robles improved their record to 3-0 in league and 9-0 overall — this is the first time since 1974 that the Bearcats have been 9-0. The Bearcats will spend the week ahead preparing for their showdown against their cross-town rival Atascadero Greyhounds (2-1 PAC-5, 7-2 overall) on Friday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Atascadero High School.

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