Grand Valley's secondary got a good workout Friday night in its 47-25 loss at Paonia.
The Eagles offense made only one pass, but on the ground six Paonia running backs racked up 472 yards on 44 carries.
The team averaged almost 11 yards a carry.
Sophomore Taylor Walters, who shifted between quarterback and halfback, had half of those carries for 333 yards and three of the Eagles' seven touchdowns.
"They didn't have an answer to our running game," said Eagles head coach Brent McRae.
With an abundance of ball carriers on the roster, McRae and his staff worked up an I-formation scheme that stacks a full back and two half backs behind the quarterback. No wide-outs. It makes it tough for the defense to read the option. "It's power football," said McRae. "Old-school play, from what I understand," but uncommon in high school. "You need lots of running backs. Good running backs. We're lucky we have the kids out. We can run it."
Senior Will Austin added 12 carries for 107 yards. Gunnar Chesnik scored two touchdowns in two carries for a total of two yards. Jared Byrge's sole carry, a one-yard TD run, came in the fourth period.
The running game was impressive, said McRae, but they had a lot of help from the offensive line, which managed to neutralize the Cards' defense and pave the way for the big plays. "It was fun to see," said McRae. "They have heart, desire. You can't teach that."
Freshman place kicker Colby Simpson was 5 of 7 in PATs. Paonia led 20-6 at halftime.
Travis Voight opened the second half with a 79-yard kickoff return for Paonia. In three carries, Walters moved the ball to the 1-yard line, and Ty Coats completed the drive with a 1-yard QB keeper for the touchdown.
Cards quarterback Tyler Scott ran for one touchdown and threw three touchdown passes, including a 44-yard pass play to senior Ivan Arizaga late in the third period.
"He's a good quarterback," and possibly the best in Class 2A this season, said McRae of Scott, a 6-foot-5 senior.
Paonia will face Centauri Saturday at 2 p.m., at Paonia Town Park. The Falcons, ranked first in 1A Southern Peaks standings, are 1-1 following a 20-19 non-conference loss to 2A Lamar Saturday.
Playing a game under natural light will require some adjustments, said McRae, whose staff is working up some new schemes for the occasion. "Centauri always plays in the day. They're used to it."blog comments powered by Disqus