Things were looking bleak for the Paso Robles High School football team, down 28-23 late in the fourth quarter last Friday against Cajon.
That’s when Paso Robles senior quarterback Steven Schouten — standing on the sideline following a punt — looked over at running back Christian Erickson and channeled Al Michaels.
“Do you believe in miracles?” Schouten said, referencing the famous announcer’s iconic “Miracle on Ice” hockey call from the 1980 Winter Olympics.
A few plays later, a miracle arrived in the form of an interception by Blake Adame on the Bearcats’ own 1-yard line. Paso Robles got the ball back with just over two minutes to play.
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“I believe in miracles!” Erickson yelled to Schouten as they ran back onto the field with 99 yards to go.
After two plays that went nowhere, Paso Robles coach Rich Schimke called a deep post to wide receiver Seth Matthysse — a play that the team hadn’t used since summer passing league. Matthysse, who was going against Washington State commit George Hicks, beat the one-on-one coverage for a 70-yard gain on third down. A few plays later, Erickson scored and Paso Robles moved to 4-0.
When it mattered most, everything went right for Paso Robles. It’s how most games have gone for the Bearcats this season. The week before against McClymonds, Paso Robles scored a go-ahead touchdown with two minutes to go in a 48-44 win.
“The last two have been really stressful,” Schouten said. “It hasn’t always been pretty, but we got the job done. A little bit of luck and a lot of hard work.”
Each of the last two games have been against talented teams on the road — the type of games good teams win.
“They don’t panic. They just don’t,” Schimke said.
Paso Robles has traveled more than 1,000 miles in three road games to start the season. But after the long hours and late nights, the Bearcats begin a four-game home stand against Clovis North on Friday night at War Memorial Stadium in Paso Robles.
Schimke said he and the rest of the team still haven’t regained a normal sleeping schedule, but don’t expect Paso Robles to sleep on Clovis North (3-1). It’s another difficult test for a Paso Robles team in its resurgent year.
“All the teams we have played have been super athletic,” Schouten said. “Clovis North looks like the most disciplined team we have played this year. Two good linebackers, and offensively they are very similar to us.
“It will just be two real similar teams battling it, out and it’s whoever executes the best.”