Although Patterson’s senior quarterback Joey Lopes started and played the majority of the game, it was backup Brandon Williams who entered the game with the outcome hanging in the balance and Lopes nursing a sore throwing shoulder.
Williams, a junior, led the Tigers on a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive that ended with his 1-yard burst with about 44 seconds left.
Patterson coach Nick Marchy said he was satisfied with the junior’s performance.
“He had a good look in his eye,” Marchy said. “There wasn’t any fear, in my opinion, and I’m pleased with that. He went out there and played.”
Bryan DeAnda’s extra point gave Patterson the edge over a Central Valley team that entered Saturday’s contest fresh off a season-high six touchdowns in a 42-7 WAC-opening victory over Livingston High on Sept. 21.
On Saturday, the Hawks (4-2 overall, 1-1 WAC) had a final chance to win after driving 52 yards to the Patterson 24-yard line with less than four seconds left. But Central Valley kicker Alvaro Rodriguez, a junior, had his attempt foiled.
Patterson’s Rueben Rosas burst through the line of scrimmage to block Rodriguez’s 40-yard field goal on the final play to preserve a win.
“It all starts with the offensive line,” Williams said. “It wasn’t just one person. It wasn’t just about the offense or the defense. Everyone really did their job.”
Patterson (4-1, 1-0 WAC) got a spark early in the first quarter.
Lopes found Avion Warmsley with a 49-yard scoring pass with seven minutes, three seconds left in the opening period. Warmsley, a junior, made a spectacular catch over a pair of Hawks defenders and raced to the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
Central Valley responded on its ensuing possession by capping a 54-yard march with a 16-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Abraham Navarro to Kenny Lopez.
Both teams traded touchdowns again.
A 15-yard Jordan Levu reception from Lopes set-up Drake Vatuvei’s 1-yard touchdown plunge to put Patterson up 14-7.
Central Valley answered, however, with Ja’Quan Gardner’s touchdown scamper. The diminutive junior broke through the pile and raced 47 yards for a score to tie the game at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Lopes injured his left shoulder when he was tackled by Central Valley defenders following an incomplete pass.
As a result, Patterson’s offense struggled, and the Hawks took advantage.
After the Tigers shanked a punt, Central Valley had a short field and scored on a 1-yard run by Gardner to take the lead. But Rodriguez missed his extra-point attempt and the Hawks settled for a 20-14 edge.
“We didn’t always play the way we wanted to, but there was never any panic in us,” Warmsley said.
Fortunately for Patterson, Williams — normally a wide receiver — learned quickly.
He completed a 29-yard pass to Levu on fourth-and-6 to set the Tigers up at the Hawks’ 1-yard line and then followed his blockers into the end zone on his game-winning touchdown.
“The biggest thing is that we came together when we needed to,” Marchy said. “Considering we came away with the win, I feel satisfied with the way it turned out.”
The Tigers will continue their season at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, when they host Livingston High.
The JV Tigers breezed to a 27-0 victory Saturday, Sept. 29, against the Central Valley Hawks.
“You have to be ready to go at the beginning of the game and give it your best shot,” said Patterson coach Harley Parson. “We did that well today — we came out prepared.”
Patterson (4-1, 1-0 WAC) reeled off a five-play scoring drive on its first possession of the game. The drive was capped by Damian Paulo’s 2-yard run to make it 6-0 with eight minutes, 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
Antonio Vasquez recovered a loose ball on the ensuing kickoff, and Patterson took over at the Central Valley 5-yard line.
One play later, Tiger Michael Lawson found the end zone for a 13-0 lead.
After Central Valley (2-4, 0-2) turned over the ball on downs, Patterson again turned to its offense. Paulo carried the ball on a 1-yard burst that made the score 19-0 with 7:36 left before halftime.
With about two minutes remaining before the intermission, Vasquez took a pitch out of the backfield and raced eight yards for a touchdown that provided the final margin of victory.
“It was important to get this win,” Vasquez said. “This team has plans to go for a (WAC) championship.”
The Patterson High freshman football team (5-0, 1-0) picked up its first WAC win of the season, defeating Central Valley High, 35-24, at Patterson Community Stadium on Sept. 26.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.