It was the perfect drive to run time off the clock and seal a 34-6 opening win for the St. Vincent Pallotti High School football team against Silver Oak Academy Friday night at Taneytown Memorial Park.
Twin running backs Jaret and James Patterson took turns carrying the ball and James capped a 65-yard drive late in the fourth quarter with a 25-yard touchdown run that gave Pallotti a 28-6 lead.
The run was very reminiscent of the first points scored of the game by his brother early in the second quarter.
At that point in the game, 34 points may not have been imaginable.
Perhaps it was the nerves of playing the first football game of the season, but the first half of the contest was sloppy for both teams.
Both offenses struggled to hold on to the ball, exchanging fumbles in a scoreless first quarter, including one fumble by Jaret Patterson.
“We didn’t have no real rhythm offensively,” Pallotti coach Rick Peacock said. “I think we had three possessions in the first half. We fumbled the ball on the first one. So it’s just getting used to it, getting in a flow. Second half, we got more into a rhythm. I even got into better rhythm calling the plays.”
Pallotti’s defense made the first big play of the game early in the second quarter when Demitri McCray-Buggs sacked Silver Oak quarterback Tyquan King to force a punt early.
On the ensuing possession, Jaret Patterson took the ball from quarterback Mason Clark and ran up the middle, breaking several tackles on his way to a 45-yard touchdown to put Pallotti ahead 7-0.
“I just seen the hole and just was driving my feet and kept going.” Jaret Patterson said.
The Panthers defense then continued its strong play, stopping Silver Oak from punching the ball into the end zone from inside the 10 twice before the half ended.
Jaret Patterson went back to work in the third quarter, taking a screen pass from Clark 19 yards for a touchdown to put the Panthers up 13-0.
Following an interception on the next possession, Clark appeared to get into a rhythm, completing deep passes to McCray-Buggs and Newt Davis to set Pallotti up inside Silver Oak’s 3.
James Patterson scored his first of two touchdowns on a carry from there. He said his brother’s running motivated him.
“It does [motivate me] because he really supports me and wants me to do my best. He pushes me everyday to go harder everyday,” James Patterson said.
Silver Oak would get a 50-yard pass completion from quarterback Tyquan King to Twyan Cooper on its next possesion to set a 2-yard touchdown run.
Peacock then gave Silver Oak a heavy dose of the Patterson twins to run down the clock.
“My one-two punch,” Peacock said about his sophomore running backs. “They just run hard. And the line did a great job of — in order to get through the line, there’s holes there. But there’s guys coming, taking shots at them and they keep grinding.”
“When I come in, James blocks for me. And then, when he comes in — we’re like a running duo,” Jaret Patterson said. “So we just both push each other to do good.”
Khaliyl Abdul-Malik intercepted King on Silver Oak’s next possession. And Pallotti backup quarterback Michael Brogden hit Cameron Sullivan-Brown in the end zone to score one last touchdown as time expired.
“A little sloppy. Both teams played a little sloppy,” Peacock said. “We got things to work on. It’s always good to get the win. I’m real excited about our season. We just got to get back and cut back on some of the mistakes that we made tonight, which are fixable.”
St. Vincent Pallotti 34, Silver Oak Academy 6
St. Vincent Pallotti (1-0) 0 7 6 21 — 34
Silver Oak Academy (0-1) 0 0 0 6 — 6