The Tigers (6-2, 3-1 Western Athletic Conference) recovered from an Oct. 12 loss to Los Banos High by going on the road and spoiling Pacheco’s first Senior Night.
Patterson defensive coordinator Larry Cardoso coached the team Friday, serving as a one-game replacement for head coach Nick Marchy, who was flagged twice and automatically ejected from the Los Banos game.
“All week, we talked about responding to adversity,” Cardoso said. “We knew that this was also going to be a tough game. But with our backs against the wall, we got the job done as a team.”
Cardoso emphasized that the team must keep its focus.
“We are not done,” Cardoso said. “We still have two more weeks to go, and we need a championship effort each week.”
Senior quarterback Joey Lopes, who had missed two games with a shoulder injury, appeared to score on a 67-yard touchdown run on Patterson’s first play from scrimmage.
But the play was negated on a holding penalty, and the Tigers eventually punted.
With its opening possession, Pacheco (5-4, 3-2 WAC) stitched together a late first-quarter drive that bled into the second.
Frank Ginda’s 1-yard plunge into the end zone to cap a 15-play, 62-yard touchdown gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead with five seconds elapsed of the second-quarter clock.
Patterson answered with a 21-yard touchdown catch by junior Jordan Levu on a throw from Lopes. Pacheco’s cornerback had inside position on Levu, but he reached over the defender and wrestled the ball away, escaping for the tying score with 7:50 left in the second.
On the ensuing possession, Panthers quarterback Jacob Parks scrambled and looked to the left side of the field for an out route pattern, but linebacker Reuben Rosas jumped it and intercepted the pass, giving Patterson the ball at the Pacheco 37-yard line.
From there, Vatuvei capped a seven-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run. He stretched to get the nose of the ball across the goal line for a 13-7 lead with 3:22 remaining before halftime.
“We couldn’t do anything about (the Los Banos) loss, so we focused on Pacheco,” Vatuvei said.
Pacheco regained its advantage when a 40-yard sprint by back Paul Parks on the opening play of third quarter set up a 25-yard touchdown burst by running back Julian Kelly. The extra point made it 14-13 with 9:25 left in the quarter.
On their next drive, the Tigers caught a break but could not capitalize on it.
Facing 4th-and-10 at the Pacheco 32, Lopes tried a toss to Levu along the left sideline. While incomplete, it served its purpose, as a defensive pass interference call put the ball at the 17.
Two plays later, however, Lopes was again forced to his left and threw across his body toward the end zone, where the jump-ball pass intended for Levu was intercepted by Pacheco’s Leon Palao.
Pacheco threatened with its next touch, but the drive stalled on 4th-and-goal at the Patterson 7 when Paul Parks fumbled as he fought for extra yardage.
The Panthers lost another fumble on their following possession, setting up the Tigers’ go-ahead touchdown.
During the drive, Lopes connected with three different receivers before Vatuvei ran it in from the 3.
“We knew that eventually we were going to have to stop Pacheco’s offense and run ours,” Vatuvei said. “Tonight’s effort was all about teamwork.”
Pacheco’s final two possessions of the game ended with an interception by Patterson’s Tony Pimentel and a turnover on downs.
Offensive coordinator Steve Cardoso was delighted with the result.
“I love the passion. I love the fight against a playoff-caliber team,” he said. “We kept our composure and came out on top.”
Patterson continues its season at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, when the team travels to face the Ceres High Bulldogs.
Pacheco scored 20 points off three early Patterson turnovers in a 33-28 victory Friday in Los Banos.
It was the first conference defeat for the JV Tigers (6-2 overall, 3-1 WAC), whose only other loss this season was in a nonleague clash against area powerhouse Escalon High on Sept. 14.
“You can’t score points if you can’t secure the ball,” said Patterson coach Harley Parson. “We have to be focused no matter who we are up against.”
After falling behind 20-0, the Tigers thrice pulled within a touchdown of the Panthers.
Patterson rallied to 20-14 on a 17-yard scoring run from Damarrio Hammonds; to 27-21 on a 1-yard touchdown push from Antonio Vasquez; and to 33-28 on a 4-yard TD pass from Hammonds to Victor Chavez.
But Pacheco (3-2 WAC) had an answer for each Patterson score and recovered an onside kick with 1:08 left to seal the win.
Vasquez added a 19-yard touchdown grab from Hammonds, and Lawyer McBride hauled in a 2-point conversion for Patterson.
“We want to win out in these final two games,” Parson said. “To do that, we’ll need to prepare well at practice and be ready to go come game time.”
Patterson’s freshman football team struck for four touchdowns in the first half and two more in the second as it took a 37-6 win over Pacheco on Thursday, Oct. 18, at Patterson Community Stadium.
The Tigers (7-1 overall, 3-1 WAC) crossed the goal line on their first four possessions of the game.
Alec Espos sprinted to the end zone on a 43-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage for Patterson.
Antoine Bostic scored on runs of 30 and 63 yards in the first half, while his brother, Antone Bostic, added an interception and a 70-yard scoring run before halftime.
“We only had to run 19 offensive plays against Pacheco, but we executed each one,” said Patterson coach Eric Marroquin. “The goal was to get all 34 players on the field, and we did that.”
Antoine Bostic returned the opening second half kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
Patterson’s Antonio Bustos added a 97-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and the final margin of victory.
“The morale of this team is high,” Marroquin said. “Now, we are looking toward Ceres.”
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or email@example.com.