Division I defending champion Central beat Paso Robles High School in a 62-0 blowout on Friday night at War Memorial Stadium, behind seven passing touchdowns by quarterback Trent Tompkins.
Paso Robles would be hard-pressed to pick a tougher opponent for a non-conference game than Central of Fresno. The Grizzlies are the defending CIF-Southern Section Division I champions and played in the 1-AA regional finals last season.
“They’re ranked 19th in the state for a reason,” said Paso Robles head coach JR Reynolds, whose team won the PAC 8 last season with a 4-0 record. “They’re building a program that we’re striving to become, so it’s good for us to get into these ballgames like this against guys like that.”
This year marks the Bearcats first in Division I, but it hasn’t stopped them from selecting tough early season Division I opponents such as Central or Buchanan.
“We got better tonight, regardless of what the score showed,” Reynolds said.
Last season, the Bearcats chose sophomore quarterback Hunter Barnhart to lead the offense. This year, there’s a new face behind center: sophomore Braden Waterman.
With Barnhart focusing on baseball, Waterman took over this season.
“You look at him and he looks like a quarterback,” Reynolds said of the 6-foot, 3-inch Waterman. “He has continued to improve every week.”
Waterman threw for the majority of his 100 yards in the first half, finding senior wideout Marshall Wiesner for several big plays. But the sophomore showed his age at points in the game, throwing an interception to a defensive lineman on a failed screen pass.
Reynolds was still happy with what he saw out of his young quarterback.
“I think he played his best half of football, in the first half tonight, that he’s had all year,” Reynolds said. “Against the best team he’s played all year.”
That can only bode well for the rest of the season, as the Bearcats likely won’t face a team as talented as Central until possibly the playoffs.
Safety Reese Brumley had an interception near the end zone for the Bearcats, and Corbin Logan Payne and Jose Torres each had a sack. Payne now has six sacks in four games.
Brumley’s interception moves the Bearcats’ total to three on the year, with two more from sophomore safety Jacob Lambeth.
The Bearcats (1-3) will play a non-conference game at Pioneer Valley (1-2) before traveling to Sanger.
Other SLO County scores
- Arroyo Grande 24, Lompoc 10
- Frontier 29, Atascadero 19
- Mission Prep 31, Greenfield 7
- Bishop Diego 41, Nipomo 28
- Santa Paula 24, Templeton 23
- Santa Maria 42, Golden Valley 30
- Bakersfield Christian 38, St. Joseph 31