The Paonia High School football team won its third game in a row to open the season and the Eagles might well be back on top of Class 1A once again.
No. 2 Paonia rolled to a 38-0 win at Ridge View in Watkins last Friday afternoon and stands at 3-0.
No. 1 Buena Vista, the defending state champion which beat Paonia in the title game last year, fell to Platte Canyon 16-8. The newest CHSAA online poll was not out at press time but it's a good bet that the Eagles moved into the No. 1 slot in 1A.
Paonia's passing game was inconsistent again but it wasn't needed against the outmatched home team. After not completing a pass in the Week 2 win over Rye, Paonia's offense netted 70 passing yards off of seven completions against Ridge View.
The ground game was solid as Jaden Miller (12 carries for 79 yards) and Sackett Chesnik (15 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown) led the way for Paonia.
Senior quarterback Dagan Rienks was effective in the redzone for Paonia, rushing for 34 yards and scoring twice. Jesse Burns also got onto the boxscore with his rushing touchdown against the Rams.
Backup quarterback Caden Meilner tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Colby Simpson to round out the scoring for Paonia. Simpson was 4-for-4 on his extra point kicks, and Miller ran in a 2-point conversion.
Defensively, Paonia got a team high seven tackles from senior Trevor Smith. Three different Eagles (Simpson, Anthony Felice, Garrett Beck) collected an interception in the game and Paonia had four total sacks in the victory.
Western Slope Conference contenders Meeker and Cedaredge cracked the Top 10, with the Cowboys ranking No. 6 and the Bruins listed at No. 10 in 1A.
Paonia is at winless Roaring Fork in Carbondale on Friday night.
Hotchkiss dropped its first game under new head coach Curtis Hintz last Friday, falling 23-22 in Center.
The game started off perfectly for the Bulldogs when senior quarterback Colton Deluzio scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to put Hotchkiss in front 7-0.
But then a 62-yard touchdown run, a fumble return of 38 yards and a safety put the home team ahead 16-7 after the first quarter.
Wade Katzdorn scored on a 16-yard scamper that sent the Bulldogs into halftime trailing 16-14.
Katzdorn scored again in the fourth quarter, this time a 7-yard burst, and Devin Curtis ran in the 2-point conversion to put the Bulldogs in front 22-16.
But Center got the winning score on a late 15-yard touchdown pass and the extra point provided the final margin.
Both teams committed two turnovers and each squad was whistled for 11 penalties in the contest.
Hotchkiss hosts Vail Christian Friday night at 7 p.m. for Homecoming.
Hotchkiss VB Falls
The Bulldogs volleyball team is bogged down by a losing streak but the young Hotchkiss squad continues to improve and build for the future.
The Bulldogs (4-7) have dropped five matches in a row.
Hotchkiss was at North Park on Sept. 16 for a competitive contest that resulted in a 1-3 match loss. The Bulldogs lost two close sets, 21-25 and 16-25 before winning the third set 25-18. North Park closed out the match with a 25-23 win.
Then the Bulldogs were swept 0-3 at West Grand on Sept. 17.
Hotchkiss looks to get back on the winning side of things at Homecoming on Friday night against Vail Christian at 6 p.m. then will be at Vail Mountain on Sept. 27.
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