Two themes were in play during Palo Verde’s home game against Centennial onThursday night: rivalry and wind.
The Panthers handled both well, on the way to a 22-13 victory to improve to 3-1 for the season.
“Centennial and us, we’ve always had battles,” Palo Verde head coach Darwin Rost said. “It was really nice to get the win on our home field.”
Senior running back Calvin Beaulieu led the way with two long rushing touchdowns of 46 and 70 yards.
(STORY CONTINUES BELOW)
His 46-yard run opened up the scoring, but after a Palo Verde punt was swallowed by a windy gust, Centennial took advantage of superb field position to score on a 1-yard quarterback sneak from senior Coll Thomson. After Palo Verde blocked the extra point, the Panthers led 7-6 after the first quarter.
Centennial struck first in the second quarter, as senior running back Lantz Worthington took a swing pass 75 yards for a touchdown and 13-6 lead. But, on Palo Verde’s next possession, Beaulieu answered with his 70-yard score.
“Our team just executed their assignments,” Beaulieu said.
Palo Verde drove most of the field with a under a minute remaining in the half, positioning sophomore kicker Bradley Matsukawa for a beat-the-buzzer field goal to give the Panthers a 16-13 lead.
The wind grew stronger in the second half, slowing down both offenses.
Early in the fourth, Palo Verde senior wide receiver Jake Ortale made the catch of the night, stretching out for a grab near the goal line. Senior quarterback Parker Rost scored on a keeper on the next play.
The Panthers burned out the clock late in the fourth to hold on to the win.
Palo Verde starts up league play at Shadow Ridge next Friday, while Centennial (1-3) opens up league play at Bonanza.
STORY AND VIDEO BY BARRY WONG