Patterson opens District 9-3A play Friday with a big road game at North Vermilion.
The Lumberjacks (2-1) and the Patriots (1-2) were picked first or second by most district coaches before the season.
“If you look at our district, its North Vermilion and Franklin,” Patterson head coach Tommy Minton said. “That’s our biggest competition. It’s definitely a big game to start off with.”
Patterson held off St. James, 20-13, Friday on the road. The Jacks struggled in the red zone against the Wildcats.
“We made mistakes in the red zone,” Minton said. “We had three trips to the red zone and didn’t get any points.”
The offense did roll up 400 yards of offense, however, with quarterback Denzel Johnson connecting on 21-of-33 passes for 203 yards. For the season, he has completed 54-of-88 passes for 651 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions.
Deontay Jones led the PHS rushing attack with 132 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown against St. James, while Larry Turner had 65 yards on 14 carries and a score.
Jones leads the PHS rushing attack thus far this season with 193 yards on 34 carries and four touchdowns, while Turner has 113 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. Johnson also has rushed for 132 yards and score.
The ’Jacks were without a couple major weapons Friday, with running back Shelby Lavergne and wide out Daylon Charlot sidelined with injuries.
Lavergne has rushed for 154 yards on 21 carries and scored one touchdown while Charlot has 10 catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
“We should be at full strength Friday,” Minton said. “That’s why we held those guys out last week, so we would have them healthy at the start of district play.”
Several players stepped up last week, led by freshman Mykel Jones, who had six catches for 60 yards. He has 10 catches for 159 yards on the season.
Rene Maillet and Bryce Tabor also had a big catches last week.
The offense averages 430 yards per game (206.3 yards rushing per game and 223.7 yards passing per game).
Defensively, Patterson held St. James to just 91 yards of offense (53 rushing, 38 passing).
“We made a step in the right direction, defensively,” Minton said following the St. James game. “We only gave up two big plays tonight. I thought we made progress and gained confidence.”
Linebacker Nehemiah Augustus also is expected to return to the unit after setting out last week.
The defense is surrendering 276.3 yards rushing per game and just 55 yards passing per game for a total of 331.3 ypg.
Patterson’s opponent Friday, North Vermilion, lost to Catholic High-New Iberia, 37-20.
Quarterback Joe Duhon threw three touchdown passes in the loss. He was 12-of-22 passing for 141 yards.
“He is a really good athlete,” Minton said. “He’s been making big plays in both the pass and run game.”
Minton also was complimentary of the North Vermilion defense.
“They are also pretty good defensively,” Minton said of Catholic High. “They run multiple looks. Sometimes they run a three-man front; other times they are in a four man front. They also like to bring pressure with their linebackers. We have to play assignment football to be where we need to be.”
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
Information from Vermilion Today was used in this article.