Paulo, a sophomore, also ran for 22 yards and a score as he made his first varsity start at quarterback Friday, Oct. 5, at Patterson Community Stadium.
He replaced Lopes, who injured his left shoulder Sept. 29 when he was tackled by Central Valley High defenders on an incomplete pass early in the third quarter of Patterson’s 21-20 win in Ceres.
“We came out with a different quarterback, so things didn’t necessarily click right away,” said Patterson coach Nick Marchy. “But the team did a great job of adapting, and eventually, we were able to move the ball down the field. I think that Damian did a great job for his first (varsity) game.”
The Tigers (5-1 overall, 2-0 Western Athletic Conference) hardly missed a beat without their starting senior QB, scoring twice in the first half to build a 14-0 advantage at the intermission.
Patterson’s supporting cast was in top form, too.
Senior back Tywayne Adams ran for 202 yards on 21 carries, and Brandon Williams, a junior, caught three passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
The Tigers produced 440 yards of total offense in their second straight WAC triumph.
“The kids made a few big plays for us, and that will help build (Paulo’s) confidence,” Marchy said. “But we can’t afford to get too comfortable. Our focus needs to be on each opponent, and we need to be prepared for each game.”
After Livingston (3-4, 0-3) turned the ball over on downs with eight minutes, two seconds left in the first quarter, Patterson needed 11 plays to take the lead on a 21-yard TD toss from Paulo to Williams.
Patterson’s next score was set up by a 63-yard deep pass from Paulo to Williams. The Tigers went 92 yards over four plays, capping the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Paulo with 3:24 remaining before halftime.
After the Wolves went 3-and-out on their first possession of the third quarter, the Tigers turned again to their offense.
This time, Adams ripped off a 50-yard run before senior back Drake Vatuvei shoved his way through to the end zone on a 7-yard carry to make it 21-0.
The visitors cracked the scoreboard when back Brian Perez sliced through the center of the Tigers’ defense for a 7-yard touchdown with 5:29 left in the third to cap a 13-play drive that covered 75 yards.
Patterson immediately responded with a touchdown drive of its own.
Williams found himself all alone deep in the Wolves’ secondary as he hauled in a 62-yard touchdown strike from Paulo that made the score 28-7 with 4:31 remaining in the third.
The Tigers later added a 22-yard field goal by senior Bryan DeAnda to take a 24-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Livingston eventually posted more points against Patterson’s defensive unit, but the Tigers’ advantage was never in jeopardy.
Following league wins against Central Valley of Ceres and Livingston, the Patterson team will face Los Banos (5-1, 1-1) on Friday, Oct. 12.
The two programs are expected to finish at the top of the WAC standings this year.
“The Los Banos game is by far the biggest test we’ve had in league so far,” Marchy said. “This is an opportunity for us to make a statement against a tough team.”
Kickoff time is 7 p.m. at Patterson Community Stadium.
Marchy added that whether Lopes will play would be a game-time decision Friday.
“Right now, our quarterback position for that game is still up in the air,” he said. “Paulo is in there right now, but we have not ruled out Lopes.”
The JV Tigers (5-1, 2-0) put on a show for their homecoming crowd Friday as they rolled to a 31-7 WAC win over Livingston High.
The crush of crimson-and-gray supporters at Patterson Community Stadium saw the Tigers dominate from start to finish.
“I’m proud of all of our kids for rallying around each other,” said Patterson coach Harley Parson. “You’re never going to have four quarters of perfect football. But I think that our kids are playing extremely well right now.”
Patterson quarterback Damarrio Hammonds led the way and finished 6-for-7 for 82 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore also gained 31 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“(Hammonds) is starting to become one of our leaders by example,” Parson said.
Patterson’s Antonio Vasquez ran for 112 yards, Daniel Cota caught a 21-yard touchdown, Lawyer McBride hauled in a 7-yard score, Michael Lawson punched in a 10-yard touchdown and Alex Gebbing made good on a 37-yard field goal.
Parson and his team will wear pink accents on their uniforms Friday when the Tigers play host to Los Banos High.
Before kickoff, Patterson players and coaches will take a few moments away from the field to honor the fight against breast cancer. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Parson said the team would also play in memory of his friend David Williams, who died of colon cancer July 3.
“Football is just a game — we need everyone to understand the seriousness of this disease,” Parson said.
The freshman Tigers (6-0, 2-0) took a 24-8 win against host Livingston High on Thursday, Oct. 4.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.