And despite the Tigers’ struggles on offense in the second half, the defense made the early lead hold up in a 21-7 victory over Kimball High of Tracy on Friday, Aug. 31.
“It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was a win,” said Patterson coach Nick Marchy. “Throughout the season you’re going to take the good with the bad — you’re going to take some bumps and bruises. But you have to keep fighting, and we did. That’s why we were able to be successful tonight.”
Winning for the second straight week to begin the season, the Tigers’ ball-hawking defense forced four second-half turnovers to defeat the Jaguars at Patterson Community Stadium.
A relentless Patterson defense pressured quarterback Ben Juarez into throwing three interceptions and lose a fumble on Kimball’s five possessions after halftime.
Tiger Avion Warmsley, a junior, led the way, registering two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Patterson junior Tony Pimentel also added an interception in the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars (0-2) got off to a rocky start when running back Gage Allen fumbled the handoff from Juarez on the opening play of the game.
Patterson quarterback Joey Lopes then orchestrated a five-play, 36-yard drive that was capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Levu, to take the early lead.
After forcing Kimball to punt on their next possession, Patterson took the ball back and drove 80 yards to increase its advantage to 14-0.
With 3 minutes, 45 seconds left in the first quarter, Lopes threaded a pass to a diving Levu on fourth down to keep the possession alive. Three plays later, the senior quarterback connected with Brandon Williams, a junior, for a 20-yard touchdown.
Allen broke off an 80-yard touchdown run to put Kimball back in the game with 5:59 left in the opening half.
Patterson got one more chance just before the half, and it made it count.
Lopes led a nine-play, 45-yard drive and junior Drake Vatuvei got the Tigers back on the board with a 4-yard TD plunge.
Patterson’s defense, meanwhile, didn’t allow a point over the final 30 minutes — and only 42 yards of total offense in the second half.
“We just want to keep our momentum and confidence heading into each game,” Marchy said. “We’re taking it one step at a time, one journey at a time.”
The Tigers will continue their season at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, when they travel to Modesto’s Johansen High School to face the Davis High Spartans.
Kimball High ran back the opening kickoff Friday, but it was the JV Tigers’ offense that set the tone.
“We knew what we had in front of us with (Kimball),” Patterson coach Harley Parson said. “Our skill players are really good, and we knew it was a matter of time before we got to (the Jaguars) with our speed and athleticism.”
Patterson erased an early deficit, while getting three touchdowns and 154 yards for the game before the first quarter ended in a 43-12 victory over the Jaguars.
After Kimball’s opening score, Patterson’s Michael Lawson showed off his all-around skills, tossing a 60-yard touchdown strike to Damarrio Hammonds on a halfback option, to tie the game.
On Kimball’s ensuing possession, Andrew Arroyo forced a fumble and recovered it to give the Tigers back the ball at the Jaguars’ 19.
Patterson quarterback Damian Paulo carried the ball into the end zone three plays later, and Daniel Cota ran in the 2-point conversion for the 14-6 advantage.
The defense then forced a punt with 3:58 left in the first, putting the Tiger offense back in business at their own 29.
Paulo’s 66-yard scamper later led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Lawson and a 21-6 Patterson edge.
“We’re happy with the way we’re playing, but we are not satisfied,” Lawson said. “This team can be great if we put our minds toward it.”
Patterson scored on its first possession of the second quarter, going 56 yards in nine plays. Victor Chavez found the end zone with a 2-yard touchdown dive, giving Patterson a 28-6 lead.
Then on the Jaguars next drive, Cota intercepted a pass from Kimball’s quarterback and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. The sophomore’s second 2-point conversion of the game made it 36-6.
Kimball opted for an onside kick to open the second half, but could not recover the ball.
Lawson then capped a seven-play, 50-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run.
Kimball added a second-half score, but that wasn’t nearly enough to overcome its large shortcoming.
The freshman Tigers won their contest against Kimball, 26-20, in a game played in Tracy on Thursday, Aug. 30.
“The team was excited about the win, but we understand that there are a lot of improvements that still need to be made,” Patterson coach Eric Marroquin said. “We made some good adjustments, and we’re trying to improve each week.”
Following Caden Johnson’s 56-yard kickoff-return touchdown that gave Patterson the lead, Nikolaus Priester’s 5-yard touchdown catch from Antoine Bostic made the score 13-6.
Antoine Bostic scored the Tigers’ next TD on a 48-yard keeper, while his brother Antone Bostic later added a 26-yard score, for the final margin of victory.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.