The Patterson Lumberjacks stormed back for a 40-32 win against Central Lafourche Friday at the Sugar Dome.
The game was moved from its original location in Raceland because Central Lafourche’s stadium still had issues due to Hurricane Isaac.
The change of venue didn’t seem to trouble the Trojans early on. Central Lafourche (0-1) took its first possession and went on a 10-play, 47-yard scoring drive capped with a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown with 6:41 left in the first quarter.
The PHS offense picked up just one first down on its first four possessions.
“People have to realize that it’s (quarterback) Denzel’s (Johnson) first year starting, and he’s still picking things up,” Patterson head coach Tommy Minton said. “But he’s doing the things we are asking him to do, and he’s getting better.”
Johnson began to heat up in the second quarter, tossing a short touchdown pass to running back Deontay Jones with 10:04 remaining in the half. Freshman kicker Steven Authement missed the extra point so Central Lafourche led 7-6.
The Lumberjacks (1-1) had a touchdown run called back on a holding penalty, and a play later, Johnson fumbled going in for a score. The Trojan’s Denzel Folse scooped up the loose ball and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown at 5:43.
“If we would have converted on a couple drives early, then we could have separated from them,” Minton said.
Patterson answered with a 5-yard run by Shelby Lavergne to pull to 14-12 with 3:31 to play in the half.
Central Lafourche, playing its opener, wasn’t done getting the big play from running back Bryson Davis. Davis burst up the middle and rambled 63 yards for another Trojans touchdown for a 21-12 CLHS lead with 2:13 remaining in the half.
Davis led the Trojans’ offense with 113 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries.
The game began to resemble last week’s 41-36 shootout loss to Crowley.
“We start six sophomores and a freshman on defense,” Minton said. “The effort is there, we just have to play, learn and improve every week. Those kids didn’t play on Friday nights last season.”
The Patterson defense gave up 306 total yards (254 rushing and 52 passing) Friday.
“We certainly cleaned up some things on both sides of the ball this week,” Minton said. “We just have to continue working hard, and hopefully we will be where we want to be at season’s end.”
Patterson answered Central Lafourche’s score with a nine-play, 37-yard drive, capped off with a Jones 3-yard run with 14 seconds left in the first half. Johnson then hit Daylon Charlot for the two-point conversion to pull the ’Jacks to 21-20 at the half.
PHS opened up the offense in the second half with Johnson tossing three touchdown passes. The first went to tight end Deondre Skinner at 5:41 of the third period. Johnson then added two fourth quarter scores to Charlot to give Patterson a 40-24 lead.
Johnson was 19-of-26 for 257 yards and four touchdowns and one interception.
“It’s a step forward,” Minton said. “Nothing more than that. It’s very early.”
Patterson will travel to St. James Friday before starting district play the following week.
St. James lost to Destrehan 47-8 Friday. Destrehan quarterback Donovan Isom threw for 133 yards and three touchdowns on nine of 20 completions to lead the Wildcats (1-0) to a season-opening victory at St. James (0-1). Destrehan held St. James to 32 yards on offense.
Information from NOLA.COM and the Houma Courier was used in this report.