Patterson and Crowley finally will meet Saturday at Gardiner Memorial Stadium in Crowley at 2 p.m.
The ’Jacks and Gents haven’t had much luck with the weather the past two seasons. Last season’s game was canceled due to Tropical Storm Lee, while this season’s game had to be rescheduled after Hurricane Isaac blew through the state.
“After all the weather issues, etc., we just want to go up there and play some football,” longtime Patterson coach Tommy Minton said.
He said the decision to move the game to Saturday was a mutual agreement because Crowley was going to be out of school some days this week like Patterson.
“We wanted to push it back a day so we could get a practice under our belts,” he said.
PHS practiced Thursday and today after missing Tuesday and Wednesday.
Patterson marched through last year with little resistance as it ran its record to 11-0 before losing to eventual state champions St. Charles Catholic in the regional round of the Class 3A state playoffs.
But PHS graduated its most successful class ever, which featured eight signees. Of those were a record seven in Division 1 along with one in Division 2 and a Division 1 walk on.
“We lost a ton of experience,” Minton said recently. “We had a huge senior class with seven scholarship signees. But this year, we have 79 players with just nine seniors.”
This season, 49 of the 79 players are either freshmen or sophomores.
“We’re a young team but we feel like we have a lot of athletic ability,” Minton said. “But we have all the problems that youth brings; we needed to get tougher, and we need some good leadership to step up. Those things have to fall in line for us to be successful.”
Patterson looked good in the Morgan City Jamboree, beating Central Catholic, 20-6, in a rain storm.
Quarterback Denzel Johnson, a dual threat, rushed for a 24-yard touchdown and threw a 40-yard pass to set up another score in Patterson’s jamboree win.
“The quarterback they have now is a little different than the one they had the past two years,” Crowley coach Josh Fontenot told the Crowley Post-Signal. “He’s more physically intimidating. He’s more of a runner than the one in the past, but he’s not quite as accurate as a passer.”
PHS used three running backs last week with Deontay Jones, Larry Turner and Shelby Lavergne splitting reps.
Lavergne scored twice on runs of 15 and 22 yards.
Crowley rolled up 398 total yards and 34 points in last week’s jamboree loss to Rayne.
“The quarterback (Andre) Mills and the receiver (Chanz) Moore are their playmakers,” Minton said. “They also use the quarterback in the run game.”
Mills completed eight passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns in the loss while Moore was the Gents’ leading receiver with seven receptions for 239 yards and two touchdowns.
“That kid is a good athlete and we will have to know where he is at all times,” Minton said.
Patterson opens the season ranked sixth in Class 3A in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s high school football poll.