Quarterback Damien Paulo completed the 45-yard game-winning drive with a strike through the air to Warmsley for Patterson (5-0 overall, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference), who roared back from a 25-21 shortcoming in the final frame in the Tigers' homecoming tilt and WAC opener.
"Every week we train at practice, and everyone stays together. We always want to play with heart, and never hang our heads," Warmsley said. "Regardless of any situation, we're not going to give up. Our team plays with pride, and we're all family."
It wasn’t pretty, but Patterson survived.
The Central Valley Hawks (3-3, 0-2) were in control with 3 minutes, 26 seconds left in the contest, jumping out to a 4-point advantage in the fourth when back Ja'Quan Gardner sliced through the right side of the Tigers’ defense for a 20-yard TD.
The Tigers refused to fold, however, and the local squad used a final surge to propel themselves to a win, much to the delight of the raucous hometown fans.
"We knew Central Valley wasn't going to come out here and lay down. Our kids have to understand that other teams are going to keep coming at us," said Patterson coach Nick Marchy. "After halftime, the only thing we could do was play better. We kept pursuing our goal of winning the game."
The sputtering Patterson offense struggled throughout the first half, as five of its first six drives resulted in punts. Luckily for the Tigers, they were able to add a pair of Alex Gebbing field goals before halftime, and they found some traction offensively in the second half.
Following three straight three-and-out possessions, Patterson used strong play from its special teams to crack the scoreboard in the first quarter.
Backed up to its own 12-yard line and forced to punt, Tiger Jordan Levu broke through and blocked the Central Valley kick, setting up Gebbing for a 30-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
But Patterson was unable to move the chains offensively, and after the team's fifth punt of the opening half, Central Valley took advantage of good field position, and responded with a scoring drive of its own.
The visitors lit the scoreboard when Gardner shoved his way through to the end zone on a 9-yard carry to make it 6-3 with 4:35 left in the second quarter, capping a quick 3-play drive that covered 27 yards.
Defense provided the Tigers with a few rare bright spots in the first half, as the interceptions came three-to-a-bunch for Patterson -- one apiece for Michael Campbell, Ruben Rosas and Damarrio Hammonds -- during the opening 24 minutes of play.
With 1:03 remaining before halftime, a pass from QB Kendal Johnson turned catastrophic for Central Valley when the ball tipped off the hands of Patterson's Brandon Williams, up into the air, before landing right in the breadbasket of Hammonds.
As a result of the play, the Tigers eventually added a 29-yard field goal by Gebbing to tie the game at 6-6, heading into the locker room at halftime.
Central Valley had things its way early in the third quarter as it found the end zone on its first possession of the second half. The Hawks scoring drive was nine plays and 75 yards, featuring a 24-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to teammate Meeko Uti to retake the lead at 12-6.
The Tigers offense was no slouch to begin the second half, either.
Williams capped a 52-yard drive with an 18-yard TD reception from Paulo to put Patterson up 13-12 with 6:04 left in the third quarter.
Facing a 4th-and-2 at the Patterson 48, the Hawks booted a punt that came to rest near the Tiger 5. Pinned deep in their own territory, the home team lost the football on a botched exchange, and the Hawks recovered at the Patterson 6 with 1:51 remaining in the third.
One play later, Gardner took a Johnson handoff, burst through the middle of the Patterson line, dodging defenders, for another touchdown to make it 18-13 in favor of Central Valley.
The Hawks had the opportunity to extend their lead early in the fourth quarter. But after moving the ball to the Patterson 6-yard line, Central Valley turned it over on downs, and the Tigers reclaimed possession with 8:16 remaining.
A pass interference penalty helped Patterson move the ball to its own 35, where Paulo connected with Warmsely on a 21-yard toss that set up Williams’ 34-yard scoring grab, giving the Tigers a 21-18 advantage with 5:49 left to play.
Campbell intercepted his second pass of the evening on the Hawks’ next possession, setting up the Patterson offense at its own 20.
But the momentum was short-lived, as the Tigers fumbled on the ensuing touch to give the ball right back to Central Valley.
The Hawks crossed the goal line one play later when Gardner took a handoff and sprinted up the Central Valley sideline for the go-ahead touchdown.
After a Central Valley turnover on downs, Paulo and the Tigers made their move.
With 1:06 remaining in the fourth, Paulo turned to Levu and lofted a pass over the Hawks’ secondary, locating the Patterson tight end with a 36-yard strike. Two plays later, the Tigers’ win was crowned by a TD toss from Paulo to Warmsley for the game’s final score.
"We practice too hard throughout the week to take a (loss)," Warmsley said. "We learned that we have to start off with intensity -- we can't wait until the second half to do that. Every team in this league wants it just as bad as we do. We have to bring the fire."
Patterson will continue its season at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, when it hosts the Ceres High Bulldogs (2-4, 1-1).
Crimson and gray pride was at its highest Friday night as the JV Tigers pushed their weight around in the homecoming game against the Central Valley Hawks, garnering a 35-14 win — their fifth straight victory this season.
"We wanted to spread the ball around, and make sure other teams had to defend the whole field," said Patterson coach Harley Parson. "Our offensive line did another great job for us, and allowed us to be successful."
Quarterback Kevin Todd led Patterson (5-0, 1-0) through the air, going 7-of-9 for 166 yards and three touchdowns, while workhorse running back Michael Lawson paced the ground attack with 11 carries for 120 yards and two TDs.
"We showed really good teamwork tonight," Todd said. "Our receivers got open, and I put the ball in the spots that it had to be."
Finding the receiving end of Todd's passes were Nicholaus Priester, who made four catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns, and teammate Alec Espos, who added a 50-yard scoring grab.
Lawson added touchdown runs of three and 34 yards in a decisive triumph for the Tigers.
The freshman Tigers took a 14-6 defeat against host Central Valley High of Ceres on Thursday, Oct. 3.
Tre McGill got behind the Hawks' defense and caught a touchdown pass from Jonathan Pimentel in the second quarter, accounting for Patterson's only score of the game.
The Tigers will continue their season at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, when they travel to face Ceres High.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.