Calvin Beaulieu rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and Palo Verde shut down visiting Centennial in a 22-13 victory Thursday night.
The seventh-ranked Panthers (3-1) were able to move the ball despite strong wind that made every special teams play an adventure.
Clinging to a 16-13 lead late in the third quarter, Palo Verde stopped Bulldogs running back Lantz Worthington on third down and called timeout with 30.8 seconds left, forcing Centennial (1-3) to punt into the wind from its own 24-yard line.
The strategy paid off as Palo Verde marched 56 yards in seven plays. Quarterback Parker Rost converted a third-and-11 with a 27-yard pass into the wind to tight end Jake Ortale, who made a diving catch at the 1. Rost sneaked into the end zone on the next play to put the Panthers on top 22-13 with 8:56 left.
On the ensuing possession, Hunter Brown was stuffed for no gain on a fake punt on fourth-and-8 at midfield, and the Panthers ran out the final seven minutes.
Jaren Campbell added 75 yards rushing for Palo Verde, which gained 330 yards on the ground.
Centennial was held to 155 total yards, 75 of which came on a screen pass from Coll Thomson to Worthington that gave the Bulldogs a short-lived 13-7 lead with 7:11 remaining in the second quarter.
Beaulieu opened the scoring with a 50-yard run before a wind-blown punt landed 11 yards behind the line of scrimmage, giving Centennial the ball at the Panthers’ 14. Thomson went in from 1 yard out two plays later to make it 7-6.
Beaulieu added a 70-yard scoring run in the second quarter that tied the game, and Bradley Matsukawa’s 29-yard field goal put the Panthers up 16-13 at halftime.