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Eagles crush Vikings, up to old tricks in win

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Photo by Eric Goold Paonia sophomore Sackett Chesnik led the Eagles with 86 rushing yards on 15 carries in the 49-7 homecoming victory over Center last Friday evening.

Some of the faces may have changed on the Paonia High School football team, but the results on the scoreboard are still the same.

Behind a dynamic offense and a physical defense, the Eagles opened the season with a 49-7 homecoming win over Center last Friday night at Paonia Town Park.

"It was a good opener. I thought we threw the ball really well," head coach Brent McRae said. The Eagles have not lost an opener in McRae's four seasons and Paonia started pursuit of its fourth consecutive appearance in the 1A state championship game.

"We got some things we need to fix up on the line," McRae said. "Both tailbacks are new to the position on the varsity level, so we have some things we need to work on there. But all in all I thought we came together as a team and played really well tonight."

The Eagles offense started slow but erupted for a huge first half against the undersized visitors from Center.

"A little bit of everything was working," Paonia senior quarterback Dagan Rienks said. "If we didn't get it on one play, we were getting 10 or 12 yards on the next. We started off slow after the kickoff. We went three and out, so we really had to pick it up after that. We put up 29 points in the first half, so that was good."

The Vikings caught the Eagles off guard and recovered an onside kick to open the contest. It was pretty much the only successful play of the night for Center.

Paonia got rolling on the fourth possession of the game. Sackett Chesnik had a run up the middle, then Rienks found Alex Lozano for a big pass play.

McRae showed a new page of his playbook, running a direct map out Cedaredge began its final scoring drive with two plays late in the third quarter.

The Bruins kept the drive alive after recovering a fumble and Klaseen got his shot at a 34-yard field goal from the Pirates' 12. Klaseen's kick culminated an eight play, 54 yard drive with 8:43 left in the game.

Monte Vista ran out of time on its final drive and lost the ball on downs to end the game at 23-10.

Unofficially, Madaleno was Cedaredge's leading ground gainer with 94 yards on 17 carries. Swoffer finished with 83 yards on 15 rushes and Brandon O'Hern rushed for 35 yards on three carries.

Stats for the passing game for Cedaredge included three for eight and 54 yards and one interception. Reynolds had two catches for 48 yards to lead the way and O'Hern caught one pass for six yards.

Monte Vista's touted Keshaun Duran played a variety of positions for the Pirates and finished the game with 16 carries and 60 yards of offense.

When asked about his start at quarterback for the Bruins, Madaleno responded with, "I was nervous at first until I got hit. After that I felt at home."

Coach Brandon Milholland also commented on how well his quarterback played. "He ran well today. It has been fun to watch him grow from year to year."

The bright spot for the game was the play of both sides of the line. "That was fun. We blitzed all the time. I want to give all the credit to the line coaches. Both sides took over in the second half."

A slow start offensively in the second half needed a change. Senior Tre' LaBossiere, after a series of plays, told Milholland the Pirates knew the plays and were waiting for them at the holes. Milholland simply told his team to huddle and the rest was easy.

LaBossiere led Cedaredge's defense with 10 tackles with Swoffer next with seven stops.

Swoffer and Zach Anderson had eight yard sacks for the Bruins in the game.

Cedaredge is on the road to Aspen this week where the Bruins face the Skiers on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.

Photo by Eric Goold Junior Cyrus Malek-Madani smothers Center quarterback Jorge Venzor. The Eagles’ defense had six sacks, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and 51 overall tackles in the big win over the Vikings.
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