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Bearcats earn 20-10 win over Eagles 

Strong Paso defense keeps Arroyo Grande in check
From the very first play to the final seconds, the Paso Robles High School varsity Bearcats stepped up their game Friday night as they dominated the visiting Arroyo Grande Eagles, 20-10, before a full house at War Memorial Stadium.

On Arroyo Grande’s first play from scrimmage, the Eagle’s running back fumbled. Paso High junior Michael Horne picked up the ball on the 10-yard line and ran it in for a touchdown. The PAT by Bryce Pasky was good and the Bearcats took an early 7-0 lead.

Bearcats, Paso vs AG

Michael Horne returns a fumble and scores for Paso Robles on the first play of the game in the Bearcats’ 20-10 victory over the visiting Arroyo Grande Eagles on Friday night at War Memorial Stadium.
Photo by Meagan Friberg.

The Eagles fought back and moved the ball to the Bearcats’ 20 yard line. The Bearcats’ defense held and the Eagles settled for a 37-yard field goal with 4:53 remaining in the first quarter. Arroyo Grande added a touchdown early in the second quarter and led Paso, 10-7.

Although the Eagles seemed to regain their composure, they were met by a fierce Bearcat defense that applied the pressure throughout the night. A screen play from quarterback Gunnar Griffin to Nathanial Harris gained 30 yards for the Bearcats. Griffin passed to Matt Van Dyk in the end zone on the next play and the Bearcats grabbed a 14-10 lead over the Eagles to end the first half.

Halftime ceremonies included the induction of five Paso Robles High School alumni – Beni Fernandez, Samantha Scott Wolff, Ray Robins, Frank “Butch” Padilla and Steve Hahn – into the Bearcat Hall of Fame.

After the half, Pasky added a 35-yard field goal in the third quarter to boost the Bearcats’ lead to 17-10. Paso’s Bailey Gaither had a crowd-pleasing interception of an Eagles’ pass in the end zone with 2:13 remaining in the quarter. Griffin later connected with Gaither on a spectacular 50-yard pass play.
Gaither’s gain put the Bearcats in position for Pasky to kick in a 45-yard field goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Leading Arroyo Grande, 20-10, the Paso defense pulled out all the stops and kept the Eagles from adding any further points.

Pasky finished the night with two field goals and two PATs for the Bearcats while Griffin was 16-for-23 passing for 183 yards with one touchdown. Harris had 65 rushing yards and Gaither had 84 receiving yards. Jimmy Pacheco ran for 30 yards and delivered key blocks to protect Griffin while the Paso defense, led by Tristan Sexton, showed solid strength throughout the night.

Next up, the Paso Robles Bearcats (7-2, 4-1 PAC 7) will host the rival Atascadero Greyhounds (7-2, 5-0 PAC 7 after their 28-7 win over SLO) on Friday at War Memorial Stadium in a battle for the PAC 7 title. The junior varsity players take the field at 4 p.m. and varsity plays at 7 p.m.

–Meagan Friberg, Paso Robles Daily News

Check out Jennifer Railsback’s photos from the Paso Robles vs. Arroyo Grande football game at

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About the author: Reporter Meagan Friberg

Meagan Friberg is a reporter for the Paso Robles Daily News and A-Town Daily News.