High School Sports

Rushing game powers Bearcats to 3-3

Paso Robles High's Steven Schouten (2) runs past teammate Matt Keller (41), who is ready to block, in Friday night's win over Morro Bay.
Paso Robles High's Steven Schouten (2) runs past teammate Matt Keller (41), who is ready to block, in Friday night's win over Morro Bay. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

The Paso Robles high football team beat Morro Bay 49-0 on Friday night, scoring seven rushing touchdowns.

Christian Erickson had two of them, one coming on the Bearcats (3-3) second play of the game, which went for 81 yards and the second from 23 yards out.

A running clock was implemented in the second half, a half in which the Paso Robles second string got a chance to play every down. A half of football may not seem like much, but the players were able to get valuable reps at game speed, something that can’t be replicated in practice.

“It was a fun night,” coach Rich Schimke said, “because (the) practice players got to play tonight and they had some success. That’s what makes it fun and puts a smile on our face when they get an opportunity.”

Ronnie Ochoa had two touchdowns in the second half, one coming from 31 yards out and Robert Mares added another from 35 yards out to cap the score at 49-0. Linebacker/ running back Matt Keller, who also recovered a fumble in the game, scored just before the first half ended on a three-yard dive.

The Bearcats were able to rely on the running game to get first downs when the passing game stalled, something that will be essential with Paso Robles’ first league game against Arroyo Grande coming up this weekend.

When asked what his team has to improve upon, Schimke replied, “Everything…we have to go to (Arroyo Grande’s) place and they pose a big challenge on both sides of the ball and special teams. But that’s what football is.”

Paso Robles will need to find balance on offense if they want to compete for a PAC 5 title. With the loss of wide receiver/safety Bailey Gaither, and tight ends Jonathan Baldwin and Josh Oliver due to graduation, the Bearcats have “big shoes to fill” according to Schimke.

Wide receiver Steven Schouten had a breakout game in the Bearcats last game against Nordhoff, when he had four receiving touchdowns, but didn’t find the same success against Morro Bay. The Bearcats will look to get Schouten and the passing game back on track in their PAC 5 opener against Arroyo Grande (5-1).

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