The Tigers gave the defending CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III champions a run for their money last Friday, but despite an earnest attempt, Patterson fell to Capital Christian 63-42 in a high-scoring affair.
“Obviously losing does hurt. You always want to believe we can win, which we do; it’s just that was a really good team. You have to give respect. There’s some really good players on that team. Really good coaching staff on that team,” head coach Rob Cozart said in defeat.
Patterson scored quickly against the visitors with a 70-yard pass from junior Logan McCleery to senior Obadiah Godbolt just three plays into their opening drive.
However that lead had a short shelf life.
Capital Christian tied the game up with an interception from junior Isaiah Bass, that he returned for a touchdown with 8:50 left in the opening quarter.
Capital Christian seized control when they scored the next three touchdowns unanswered. Senior Austin Amador hit senior Max Rodarte with a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Rodarte then added to his strong outing with a 36-yard interception return for a touchdown before, senior Brevin Treadwell capped off a drive with a one-yard touchdown run to put the Cougars ahead 28-7 with 10:13 left in the second quarter.
The game appeared to be slipping away from Patterson, but the Tigers showed plenty of heart to get back into the game.
After struggling to put together extended minutes on the field, the offense began to creep back into form. McCleery found sophomore Javier Huizar for a seven-yard touchdown pass to finish of a long drive aided by Capital Christian penalties, pulling it to 28-14.
The game got interesting when Patterson continued to seize the momentum when Capital Christian senior Joey Falvey mishandled a kickoff before senior Davante Imhoff dived on the loose ball, giving the Tigers possession with 7:15 remaining in the second quarter.
Patterson failed to score points on the ensuing drive, but the defense held the Cougars at bay, and with 1:52 left in the first half, Godbolt found some daylight to finish off a drive with a seven-yard touchdown run.
This pulled the Tigers within one touchdown, at 28-21, with 1:52 left in the first half.
Patterson’s prospects of a comeback were ripe, yet Capital Christian responded with a huge play of their own to gut punch Patterson right before the half.
Amador connected with Rodarte once again for a 65-yard touchdown pass to pull ahead 35-21 at halftime, making it a two-score game.
Despite having the rug pulled out from underneath them, the Tigers got off the canvas and showed more fight after halftime.
Imhoff stifled the Cougars’ opening drive in the second half with a clutch interception, before the offense complimented that with a 35-yard touchdown run from Godbolt.
Despite taking a strong punch from the Cougars, Patterson still stood to threaten Capital Christian down 35-28 with eight minutes left in the third quarter, but that all changed.
In less than two minutes, Capital Chrstian seized absolute control of the game.
Capital Christian senior Mohamed Feika responded with a 65-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
The score continued to spiral out of control when sophomore Robert Holt got the best of McCleery with an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Bass put the Cougars up by three touchdowns with a 52-yard touchdown run to open the fourth quarter, to flip a one-score game into a 56-28 lead.
Patterson, admirably, did not quit. Junior Miguel Mendiola, filling in for junior Jordan Imada at running back, scored on a one-yard run.
McCleery scrambled to score the final touchdown of the game, with a five-yard touchdown run.
“Guys became better football players, and in the long run better people from it. We lost to a really good football program. Let’s roll with is the rest of the year and roll with that fighter mentality,” Cozart said reflecting on his team’s effort. “This game does not define our season. This game will define our season based on how they react and learn from the adjustments we made. We made so many adjustments during this game that our game will be better moving forward, just for playing this game.”
Stats against Capital Christian
Godbolt finished the game with 19 carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while posting three catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Huizar had a pair of catches, for 32 yards and a touchdown.
Logan McCleery was 8-24 with three interceptions. All three interceptions were returned for touchdowns.
Patterson had 46 carries for 196 yards rushing as a team.
Capital Christian’s Bass had a strong outing, with 10 rushes for 104 yards and a touchdown. Bass also had an interception that was returned for a touchdown on defense.
Rodarte had four catches, 120 yards and two touchdowns. Rodarte also had a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Amador finished the game going 7-16, with one interception and two touchdowns at the quarterback position.
The Cougars had 30 carries for 174 yards with two turnovers (one fumble and an interception) in the victory. Capital Christian had trouble staying away from penalties racking up 13 infractions for 140 yards.
Tiger Bowl up next
A familiar regional rival will await Patterson in week three of the season. Los Banos High is off to an 0-2 start so far in 2019, but will no doubt look to get back on track after losing to Hilmar 49-19 on Aug. 30. Los Banos opened the season at home with a close 40-35 loss to Dos Palos.
Since 2010, Patterson has a 5-4 record against Los Banos. Under Rob Cozart, they are 4-1 against a team that has become a regional rival from their battles in the former Western Athletic Conference.
“It’s been a really good series with these guys (Los Banos). They always give us a great game and we always give them our best shot as well,” Cozart said.
The game is currently scheduled for 7 p.m. at Los Banos High School.