Bearcats drop key matchup versus Nipomo Titans, 34-21
Photos and report by Sergio Romero,
– It was the perfect start to the game for the Paso Robles High School Bearcats football team. They stopped Nipomo High on their first possession and took a 77-yard touchdown to the house on their first offensive play of the game at Friday’s game in Nipomo. The only problem was that the touchdown was brought back by a holding penalty, and the offense stalled, which was the trend in this game.
After coming off a blowout win versus Santa Ynez the Paso Robles High School Bearcats looked to build off of their previous success but failed to do so after dropping a game with playoff implications against the Nipomo High School Titans 34-21.
The Bearcats (2-7, 2-4 Mountain) were plagued by penalties and sluggish play while the Titans (4-5, 2-4 Mountain) jumped out to an early lead and didn’t look back.
Nipomo capitalized off of the opportunity and punched the ball in on a short touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead with 5:09 left in the quarter.
Paso Robles hit right back after senior running back Conner Bowman broke away for a 19-yard touchdown to even the score at seven apiece to end the first quarter.
Nipomo had the ball to start the second quarter and freshman quarterback Blayne Lowry ripped a ball to his receiver for a big gain to set up a short score to take 14-7 lead with 9:58 left in the first half.
After a Bearcats punt, Lowry threw another dart for a big gain that set up yet another Titan touchdown to take a 20-7 lead going into the half.
After trading possessions coming out of the half, Paso put together a long drive capped off by a six-yard touchdown pass to senior athlete Hayden Mckenna to cut the deficit to 20-14 with 7:47 left in the half.
Nipomo immediately responded with a scoring drive of their own capped off by a quarterback sneak from Lowry to extend their lead to 27-14 to end the quarter. The Titans dominated on all levels in the fourth quarter by scoring another touchdown, recording an interception and a punt.
The Bearcats managed to score a touchdown in garbage time to senior receiver Tristan Salgado but it was too little too late as Nipomo High secured the 34-21 win. Despite the Paso Robles offense being inconsistent, the one thing that was detrimental to the team this game was penalties.
All of these factors combined with how the season is going caused a lot of frustration within the team and it showed in how they played and on the sideline.
“We were extremely emotional and a little anxious at the start,” head coach Tim Alvord said. “We tried to get the kids to calm down and rally a little bit, but their emotions got the best of them.”
The Bearcats will now look ahead to arguably the toughest challenge in their final regular season game of the season when they travel to take on the undefeated Arroyo Grande High School on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at Doug Hitchen Stadium.