That the lights at Dan Lawrence Field went out with three minutes remaining in the first half could be a metaphor for the outcome of Paonia's season-opening football game. When the field went dark, the visiting Centauri Falcons held a six point lead and had possession of the ball at midfield.
The Eagles were outrun, outsized, out-thrown, out-coached and outplayed for a non-conference, 38-0 loss to the Falcons.
It was a perfect storm for a young Eagles team with its smallest roster since 2010, a first-year quarterback, and a young coaching staff with a second-year head coach, all facing veteran coaches and a team hungry for a win after last year's three-point state championship loss in double overtime. Ninth-year head coach Kyle Forster and the defending state runner-up Falcons dominated the field, scoring early and, in the second half, often.
Against Centauri's front-line, most players weighing in at over 200 pounds, Paonia was unable to penetrate the line. With receivers well-covered, they never completed a pass. Paonia made four turnovers on fumbles, including two in the first quarter, and threw two interceptions.
The shutout marks Paonia's first since a 2004, 27-0 shutout against Hayden.
With 3:10 left in the second quarter and Centauri leading by a touchdown and in possession at midfield, about half of the lights at Dan Lawrence Field went dark. After several minutes, an early half-time was called. Teams were informed that they would finish the first half after returning to the field, then roll directly into the second half.
With the lights back on, the teams took the field and Falcons' junior quarterback Eric Maez threw a 50-yard touchdown pass on the opening play to end the half with a 12-point lead.
In the third quarter the Falcons were unstoppable, scoring 18 points and putting an Eagles' win well out of reach.
This Friday the Eagles face the Southern Peaks League's Monte Vista. In their opening game, the Pirates suffered a 24-0 loss to 2A Alamosa.