PATTERSON — Patterson capitalized on several Berwick miscues en route to a 45-7 District 9-3A win Friday at the Sugar Dome.
The Lumberjacks (3-2, 1-1) converted three Panthers’ (0-4, 0-2) turnovers into touchdowns in the first quarter.
“We continue to struggle early in games,” Berwick head coach Craig Brodie Sr. said. “We keep falling behind quickly, and against a good team like Patterson you’re not going to have any success.”
Berwick turned the ball over on three of its first four possessions.
Larry Turner opened the scoring on an 18-yard run just 93 seconds into the game after the Panthers fumbled the opening kickoff.
Later, 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.
“I thought we corrected a lot of the mistakes we made last week,” Patterson head coach Tommy Minton said. “We also played with a lot more intensity and effort.”
The Jacks got back to the basics this week in practice.
“We had a coming together as a team this week,” Minton said. “Our coaching staff pulled together, went back to basics and got these kids refocused.”
Patterson had a balanced attack, passing for 170 yards and rushing for 159 yards.
Johnson was the leading passer as he connected on 11-of-14 attempts for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
Turner led the ’Jacks’ ground game with two carries for 54 yards and a touchdown.
Mykel Jones led the PHS receivers with four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
“We also got our young kids game snaps and that can only help us going forward,” Minton said.
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.
While Berwick struggled offensively, the Panthers had some success running the football.
BHS had 75 yards on the ground and cut down the negative plays that hampered it last week.
“Despite getting behind so quickly we stuck with our game plan,” Brodie said. “We saw that some other teams had some success running right at them so that’s what we tried to do. I think if we would have started passing, they would (have) brought pressure and forced more turnovers.”
Berwick did get a spark late in the game when sophomore quarterback Jeremy Boudreaux entered game. Boudreaux carried four times for 27 yards, including the team’s only touchdown. He scored on a 30-yard run with 45 seconds remaining in the game.
BHS standout linebacker V.C. Caruso had another strong game with double-digit tackles.
Patterson will travel to Kaplan (3-2, 1-0) Friday. Kaplan beat Abbeville, 28-12.
Berwick also will hit the road this week to face district leader North Vermilion. NV (3-2, 2-0) beat Franklin, 6-0.