LA JARA- Centauri defeated Paonia in their home opener 20-13.
As the lights went down the action heated up. The Falcons started their season against Paonia. The Eagles have had quite a path to get here today with perennial post-season visits, while Centauri is eager to make a name for themselves in 1A. The Falcon defense came out with fire in their belly and kept Paonia stand-out Jaden Miller relatively quiet, and the Eagles off the board in the first half.
In the second quarter Nate Anderson got things heading in the right direction and put the Falcons up 6-0. The Eagles then drove it down the field kicked it through the uprights for their first points of the game to make it 6-3 at the half.
Paonia opened the second half with the ball and wasted no time trying to make up the ground. Early in quarter number three Jaden Miller ripped off a 50 yarder to put the Eagles on the 30 yard line. The drive would eventually peter out but the ensuing drive the Falcons would suffer fumble in their own territory and Paonia struck with Jaden Miller punching it in to make it 10-6 for the Eagles. The Falcons defense got their licks in with an interception that went to the house to make it 12-10. The Eagles’ Caiden Meilner retook the lead with 8 minutes left with a field goal to make it 13-12.
Late in the fourth Nate Anderson would connect with Brandon Buhr on a bomb to give the Falcons the final lead of the game. Centauri gave away three redzone possessions two interceptions and a fumble.
“That’s something we gotta work on” said Head Coach Kyle Forster of the turnovers. “That was big. That kept them in the game when we should have really blown it open.” Forster’s defense was opportunistic and pitched in with takeways of their own, one for a touchdown and the other from Nate Anderson to seal the game. “That was a hard fought game, we know Paonia’s been a powerhouse and you know for us to come out and play the way we did I’m happy with this one.”
Centauri and Paonia will take turns playing Rye, Centauri next Friday Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. and Paonia the following week Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
Caption Brandon Buhr for Centauri skirts to the sideline to find some room on a sweep. Courier photo by Stephen Jiron