Photos by Nicholas Mattson/Paso Robles Press
Paso Robles High School running back Christian Erickson outruns the defense in Paso Robles’ season opener at home against Frontier.
For the second consecutive week the Paso Robles Bearcats found themselves in a offensive shootout and for the second consecutive week the Bearcats came away with a win, this time with a 48-44 victory over McClymonds last Friday in Oakland.
It was Christian Erickson who carried Paso on his back with explosive offensive showing.
Erickson, the “Beast,” rushed for 271 yards on 33 touches and averaged 8.1 yards a carry. He also scored six touchdowns with five coming on the ground and one coming on a kickoff return for a score.
“Christian Erickson was the the difference maker in the game,” Bearcat radio commentator Bill Stansbury said. “I am sure if you spoke to the the McClymonds defensive players they would tell you that they have tremendous respect for his courage, abilities and his determination.”
The offensive explosion opened in the first quarter when the Warriors opened the scoring on a 25-yard touchdown pass from the arm of senior quaterback Emoreea Fountain.
Erickson answered with a six yard run and after Jonathan Jaimes made the point after it was 7-6.
Jeremy Alberty put the Warriors back on top with a 61-yard touchdown 12-7, but Erickson had an answer.
The senior took the ensuing kickoff and went 80 yards for a score and then scored on the two-point conversion to give his team a 14-7 lead after one quarter of play.
Fountain connected on another touchdown pass to open the second quarter and after a two-point conversion the Warriors were back on top 15-14.
The “Beast” answered 30 seconds later when he took a handoff and broke three tackles and out ran the Warrior defense for an 81-yard touchdown to give the Bearcats a 20-15 lead.
The fireworks continued three minutes later when Fountain found Jerome Garrett for 62-yard touchdown and the Warriors were back on top 21-20.
You would have thought that would have ended the scoring for the first half, but Erickson had one more run in him.
With less than a minute left in the half, the senior went right up the middle for a 31-yard score and after a failed two-point conversion the Bearcats led 26-21 at the half.
Erickson scored two more touchdowns in the second half and Mark Armstrong added another and the Bearcat defense held when it had to and help the team to improve to 3-0.
Fountain completed 21-28 passes for 382 yards and had five touchdown passes for the Warriors.
“First of all, starting safety Daede Murphy went out of the game early with an injury. This led to some shuffling of players in the secondary, which caused some blown assignments,” Stansbury said. “Tackling and getting off blocks,particularly on bubble screens, were also issues that will need to be dealt with. Solidifying the secondary and tackling practice will certainly be top priorities for the defensive staff this week.”
Once again the Bearcats had a strong showing when it came to special teams.
“Special teams will continue to be a main strength of the Bearcat football team as the season progresses. Jonathon Jaimes and Cade England are both performing well. England’s second half kickoffs, resulting in touchbacks, had a significant impact on the football game,” Stansbury said.
According to Stansbury, it wasn’t a great all around performance but was a good win.
“Any win is a good win. The only real statistic that counts at this point in time is 3-0, he said. “That being said, I still feel that this is a “stair step” non-league schedule, with each new team presenting a stronger challenge to the Bearcats. Offensively, I found it interesting with the game on the line Paso Robles went back to what they do best,”Erickson right, Erickson left and Erickson up the middle.”
Tonight Paso Robles travels to San Bernardino to battle Cajon with a 7 pm kickoff.
“Cajon is a BIG strong football team. Here are some of their sizes: 6-6 245, 6-6 240, 511-260, 6-4 320, 6-3 360, 6-1 300. They were 11-2 last season,” Stansbury said. “They are unbeaten this year. The Bearcats will have to handle another long bus ride and a quality opponent for the second week in a row. I see a close game, with special units play being the deciding factor in a narrow Paso Robles victory.”For the complete article see the 09-16-2016 issue.
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