In contrast to their sluggish start against Los Banos last week, the Patterson High varsity football team had no trouble getting into gear early against Modesto High on Friday, Sept. 13 at Gregori High School.
The Tigers were right on schedule for their third win of the season up 35-0 at halftime. Modesto scored 15 unanswered points in the second half to result in a 35-15 victory for Patterson.
“That was our emphasis not having a repeat performance of what we did down in Los Banos,” head coach Rob Cozart said. “A lack of focus in the second half, but luckily we came out with such a strong force in the first half and took care of business.”
Patterson dominated with their run game. Of the 59 plays called, 49 of those were rushing attempts. Overall the Tigers finished with 322 yards on the ground. This substantially outpaced Modesto’s 250 yards of total offense.
“They were presenting us with a defense that gave us the numbers to run the ball. We had an advantage running the ball with our offensive line and our stable of running backs. We knew we would be able to find some seams and find some mismatches,” Cozart said.
Patterson received great performances from an array of backs led by senior Obadiah Godbolt with 14 carries for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Junior Jordan Imada had 16 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. Senior Davante Imhoff and junior Miguel Mendiola finished with 36 and 55 yards respectively.
“They all have their own unique way of running the ball and it’s good for us to try and get them all worked in at the same time and not have one guy carrying the load,” Cozart said.
Patterson’s passing attempts were scarce against the Panthers. Junior Logan McCleery completed five passes on 10 attempts for 119 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively the Tigers held an opponent to under 20 points for the third time this season. Despite missing senior lineman Logan Foumai against Modesto, the Tigers put together a stout effort against the Panthers conceding 115 yards passing and 125 yards rushing in the win.
Patterson forced two fumbles. Senior Omar Ortega recovered one for a turnover in the second quarter.
For the fourth time in as many games junior Marty Collins made his presence felt on the defensive end with an interception. The safety has proven to be a factor for the Tigers so far in 2019.
“He’s slipping under the radar and he’s becoming a really good free safety for us,” Cozart said. “He’s that silent assassin for us on defense and really helping us out. There’s a whole cast of characters that are like that.”
Cozart explained that Patterson took the field last Friday with only 29 players on the sidelines but praised his team’s toughness and effort despite the lighter numbers on the roster. Certainly, the quality of effort will have to continue moving forward for Patterson to continue to find success as they head into the league schedule.
Patterson made the most of their opportunities in the first half.
Godbolt got the scoring started with an eight-yard touchdown run to finish off Patterson’s opening drive to go up 7-0 with 9:01 left in the first quarter.
Imada backed that up with an impressive 40-yard touchdown run on the Tigers’ next drive to improve to 14-0 with just 1:36 left in the opening quarter. The offense had converted on both of their possessions to start the game.
Patterson stalled out on their drive in three plays in the second quarter. The ball then slipped out during the transfer to junior kicker Adrian Melesio during the punt attempt. Melesio was forced to adlib the play and recovered the loose ball. He then darted it down the sideline for a 21-yard run to preserve the drive.
Patterson made the most of a second chance when McCleery hit Godbolt with a pass for a 54-yard touchdown.
McCleery later then found the end zone himself when he ran for a seven-yard touchdown run to bump the score up to 28-0.
Patterson’s final scoring play came when Godbolt ended the first half on a high note with a three-yard touchdown run to blowout Modesto 35-0.
League schedule begins
Patterson will face one of their toughest opponents of the season to open their Central California Conference schedule on Sept. 20 versus Buhach Colony at Patterson Community Stadium.
Last year’s second place finishers in the CCC have been off to an impressive 4-0 start in 2019 with wins over Gregori (34-13), Tracy (35-21), Edison (35-27) and Weston Ranch (71-14).
Patterson fell to Buhach Colony 65-31 last year in their opening game in the CCC but hope to turn the tables on the Thunder in 2019.
“Last year we limped into league. We limped into Buhach. We were 2-2 and this year we are 3-1 with a real hard-fought loss to Capital Christian,” Cozart said. “They’re ready to get to the CCC now more than ever with a year of experience under their belt, and now we’re ready to go. We’re not the new kids on the block so much.”