PARADISE — The lavender sky peeking through the silhouette of towering trees served as a backdrop for Lukas Hartley’s dream come true.

Hartley, the senior running back for the Paradise High football team, grew up watching games at Om Wraith. He witnessed Paradise greats run for touchdowns while he was a child.

Friday, he got to live that dream as he scored his first touchdown in the Bobcats’ blowout 42-0 win over Williams Friday night at Om Wraith Field.

Hartley plowed over a defender to cap off an 11-yard run with 8 minutes, 55 seconds in the first quarter. It was the first touchdown the Paradise native has scored at home.

“It was everything. It’s a boy’s dream come true,” Hartley said. “I’m glad I could celebrate it with my best friends and my teammates and my hometown and everyone that I love around me.”

Hartley scored twice on the night, adding his second touchdown in the second quarter with a 23-yard run. Hartley would have had a 92-yard score shortly before but a personal foul penalty negated the touchdown.

“I see the end zone. I don’t see anything else,” Hartley said. “My linemen, they see the end zone and they’re following me there. We’re moving as a unit.”

The stands were jam-packed for the emotional return of the Bobcats’ football season, the first sporting event to be held at the high school since the deadly Camp Fire broke out on Nov. 8, 2018.

“It’s indescribable,” said Paradise receiver Mason Cowan. “It feels like the whole city is back together.”

Cowan scored the second touchdown of the game with 7:42 in the first quarter. Cowan caught a wide-open pass from quarterback Danny Bettencourt and bolted toward the end zone for a 64-yard score to put the Bobcats up 14-0.

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“I got my opportunity. I told my quarterback I’m wide open,” Cowan said. “I was getting that touchdown.”

With 1:55 left in the first, Ashton Wagner broke off to his right from 15 yards out to make it a 21-0 advantage heading into the second quarter.

After Hartley scored his second touchdown, the Bobcats’ defense shined on the ensuing possession. On three straight plays, Paradise (1-0) rushed the quarterback and finished with a sack, pinning the Yellowjackets deep in their own territory.

The next Bobcats drive ended with junior Stetson Morgan rushing for a 30-yard touchdown to make it 35-0.

Ben Weldon, another senior, snagged an interception as time expired in the second quarter to carry the momentum into the break.

The Bobcats’ final score of the night came on a 16-yard run from Tyler Harrison in the third quarter. After going up 42-0, the running clock went into effect.

“Getting here was so hard. I’m so proud of them. We have a long ways to go,” said head coach Rick Prinz.  “We can’t forget that we have nine more.”