A week of soul searching and hard work has Patterson’s young Lumberjacks refocused.
After starting the season with an uncharacteristic 2-2 record, PHS went back to the basics last week.
“We had a coming together as a team,” Patterson head coach Tommy Minton said. “Our coaching staff pulled together, went back to basics and got these kids refocused. I really feel like we are on the right track now. The kids are buying in, and we got better effort and intensity Friday.”
Patterson was sharp, capitalizing on Tri-City rival Berwick’s mistakes in a 45-7 rout.
The Lumberjacks (3-2 overall, 1-1 in District 9-3A) converted three Panthers’ turnovers into touchdowns in the first quarter. Berwick turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions.
Patterson’s Larry Turner opened the scoring on an 18-yard run just 93 seconds into the game after the Panthers fumbled the opening kickoff.
After a BHS three and out, Patterson’s D.J. Jones took a Brooks Richard punt 72 yards for a touchdown with 9:07 remaining in the first quarter.
Shundren Johnson intercepted a Bobby Boudreaux pass on Berwick’s next possession, and PHS quarterback Denzel Johnson hit Jedrick Gunner for a 36 yard score.
After another fumble, Spencer Landry hooked up with Mykel Jones for a 13 yard touchdown and a 26-0 lead with 3:45 remaining in the opening quarter.
“The kids were engaged and focused throughout Friday’s game, and when the young kids got in, they also played with good intensity,” Minton said.
PHS had some young player in key positions due to injuries last week. The Jacks were without three offensive starters. Running back Shelby Lavergne, receiver Daylon Charlot and center Kelon Bourgeois all were sidelined with injuries. Lavergne did punt, however.
“We should have all those guys back this week,” Minton said.
The injury bug has plagued the Jacks all season.
“We’ve had some injuries but that’s just a part of football,” the longtime coach said. “Every team in the state has injuries, so we just have to fight through that.”
The PHS defense held Berwick to just 77 yards Friday, but Kaplan’s (3-2, 1-0) Wing-T presents a bigger challenge.
“They try to control the ball and the clock with the run,” Minton said. “The fullback, quarterback and both wings are all good runners. We have to play physical upfront to slow them down.”
Patterson had a balanced offensive attack Friday, passing for 170 yards and rushing for 159 yards.
Denzel Johnson was the leading passer as he connected on 11 of 14 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns, while Turner was the leading rusher with two carries for 54 yards and a score. Mykel Jones was the leading receiver with four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
“We want to be balanced again this week,” Minton said. “It’s much harder to defend a balanced offense, and hopefully we can get better as the weeks go on.”
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. in Kaplan.