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Cougars hold on to beat Bearcats 

Justin Davis, Christian Erickson, PRHS, Clovis, Bearcats football, Meagan Friberg

Bearcats quarterback Justin Davis hands the ball off to running back Christian Erickson as Paso Robles hosts Clovis at War Memorial Stadium on Friday night. Photo by Meagan Friberg

Clovis 27, Paso Robles 24

–The hometown crowd showed its support on a hot August Friday night as Paso Robles hosted Clovis in a non-league football season opener at War Memorial Stadium that had the Cougars holding on to beat the Bearcats, 27-24.

There were plenty of penalties on both sides of the field and a few bouts of confusion, typical for most teams this early in the season. Nevertheless, the game was an entertaining one that saw the lead change hands five times.

Clovis took the opening kickoff and drove downfield. A pass from quarterback Sean Kuenzinger to JJ Willis was complete for a 27-yard touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead over Paso Robles with 9:37 remaining in the first quarter.

The Bearcats evened the score, 7-7, with 30 seconds left in the first quarter on a 27-yard touchdown run by Christian Erickson.

PRHS, Clovis, Bearcats football, Meagan Friberg

The Bearcats team up to bring down a Clovis player. Photo by Meagan Friberg

The Cougars got the ball back and had little trouble on their next drive. JJ Willis collected his second touchdown on a 37-yard pass from Kuenzinger. After a fumbled PAT, Clovis took a 13-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Despite the second quarter being filled with numerous penalties on both teams, the Bearcats managed to drive to the Cougars’ 6-yard line. That gave kicker Jonathan Jaimes the opportunity to boot a field goal as the first half ended, with Clovis leading Paso Robles, 13-10.

The Bearcats put together an impressive drive to start the second half and drove to the Cougar 7- yard line. From there, Erickson powered into the end zone for his second touchdown and, with the PAT good, Paso Robles had their first lead, 17-13, with 6:53 left in the third quarter.

The penalties continued to rise against the Cougars, but they were able to regain the lead after a 7-yard touchdown pass with 3:25 left in the third. The PAT was good and Clovis led Paso, 20-17.

Christian Erickson, PRHS, Clovis, Bearcats football, Meagan Friberg

Paso Robles running back Christian Erickson moves past Clovis players on his way to the end zone. Erickson scored three touchdowns for the Bearcats against the Cougars. Photo by Meagan Friberg

The Bearcats started the fourth quarter with the ball on their own 9-yard line and used a combination of running and pass plays to take it down to the Clovis 4-yard line. Once again, Erickson got the call, and scored his third touchdown of the game. The PAT was good and the Bearcats clawed their way back into the lead, 24-20 with 6:48 left in the game.

It took just one minute for the Cougars to take the ball back downfield and score on a 30-yard pass play from Kuenzinger to wide receiver Coltin Velasquez. The PAT was good and the Cougars claimed a 27-24 lead with 5:45 left in the game.

Although the Bearcats got the ball back and had a third down near midfield, a pass from quarterback Justin Davis was intercepted by Clovis to halt the drive. The Bearcats forced the Cougars to punt with three minutes left in the game.

The punt was fielded by Erickson but, when the ball was knocked loose as he was fighting for more yards, it was recovered by Clovis. As the clock ran down, Clovis held onto the 27-24 lead to end the night and claim a victory over Paso Robles.

The Bearcats are set to travel to Camarillo next week in another non-league contest.

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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.