ATASCADERO— The Atascadero Greyhounds are the only thing that stands between the Paso Robles Bearcats and their season-long goal of being the undefeated PAC 5 league champions. The Paso versus Atascadero game is the stuff of lore, one of those rivalry games where you throw the records out the window because they don't matter. It’s one of those games that will cause your brain to flood with nostalgia like a property below sea level 30 years after you played in it as you sit around a campfire reminiscing with old high school buddies. Legacies are formed, both good and bad, in a game of this magnitude. This is the Michigan vs Ohio State, or the Green Bay vs Chicago of high school games.
The rivalry started 97 years ago in 1920. In the first meeting between the two teams, the Bearcats won 119-0. The Greyhounds didn't get their first win in the series until 1935. It has been a series of runs — each team has had its turn in winning eight consecutive years with Paso doing it most recently from 98’-05’ and the Hounds doing so in 79’ - 86’. The two teams once met in a legendary CIF Final where the Greyhounds emerged victories with a 21-12 victory after losing to the Bearcats in the final game of the regular season that year 46-20. In the past ten season the series is tied at five, Atascadero won back-to back-years in 07’ a 08’, then the Bearcats won four consecutive times from 09’-12’. Atascadero then won three straight before losing last year.
Friday at 7 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium the two teams will play each other for the 90th time with the Bearcats leading the series 56-31-2. If Atascadero hopes to win they will need to shut down the Bearcats sophomore quarterback Hunter Barnhart who is 4-1 as a starter this year for Paso Robles.
Last Friday the Greyhounds welcomed the Arroyo Grande Eagles to Memorial Stadium for their third league matchup of the season. It was an important match, affecting the standing of each team in the PAC 5 because each team came into the game with one win and one loss in league play. The Eagles controlled the line of scrimmage and thus controlled the game, leaving with a 35-7 victory. The Greyhounds lone scoring drive came in the first quarter with its most exciting play being a 27-yard halfback pass from Zack Davis to Andrew Mosqueda. Cade VanAllen tossed the ball out to the right to Davis who was running toward the Atascadero sideline. Davis pulled up before reaching the sidelines and threw a jump ball to Mosqueda who went up and battled for it with two Eagle defenders. The ball was tipped and then fell into the hands of Mosqueda who tried to regain his balance and stretch into the end zone but was marked down at the one-yard line. On the next play Scott Morgan ran it in and the Greyhounds tied the game at seven. Kobe Cross carried to load for the Hounds on Friday, carrying the ball 22 times for 89 yards. Trailing by more than two scores, the Greyhounds were forced to pass more often than usual. VanAllen finished the evening with 3-10 for 29 yards and threw two interceptions.
Defensively the Greyhounds hung as long as they could, but the Eagle offensive line was too big for the Hounds. Senior nose tackle Paul Garcia faced double and even triple teams most of the night, but effectively did his job of freeing up the linebackers behind him. Morgan finished the game with 15 total tackles, 10 of which were solos. Safety Henry Chance finished second on the team in tackles recording 13 total and eight solos.
The Greyhounds are now 3-6 on the season and 1-2 in
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