A few missed opportunities and penalties plagued the Patterson High varsity football team in the first half, but after trailing Los Banos 13-10 early in the third quarter, Patterson scored 27 points straight to keep Los Banos winless in 2019, and improve to 2-1 so far this season on Friday, Sept. 6 at Loftin Stadium in Los Banos.

Following a first half that featured 11 penalties for 80 yards, head coach Rob Cozart shared that he challenged his squad at halftime to improve their brand of play.

“What we were seeing on the field was not what they were capable of. We are more explosive than that. The penalties were not indicative of the kind of players we have. These guys are a disciplined group, but penalties bit us in the butt tonight big time,” Cozart said. “That’s not the team that we like to put on the field. That’s not who I know they’re capable of being, so I challenged them for their attitude and effort to be there.”

The team, no doubt, responded in the second half.

Junior Logan McCleery bounced back from a rough outing against Capital Christian with a 20-39 for 258 yards and a touchdown performance last Friday.

Patterson also stuck with the run game, and in the second half their diligence paid dividends. Overall, the Tigers had 42 carries for 220 yards. The team’s pace of play and offensive lineman’s stamina were factors that allowed Junior Jordan Imada and senior Obadiah Godbolt to break through the Los Banos defense in the third and fourth quarters.

Imada finished with 20 carries for 81 yards, while Godbolt topped out at 10 carries for 93 yards. Imada and Godbolt had one touchdown each. Godbolt also had three receptions, for 35 yards.

Patterson’s top receiver was senior Davante Imhoff, with nine receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown in the first half. Sophomore Javier Huizar finished with three catches, for 65 yards. Senior Manuel Ponce racked up 51 yards on five catches, while junior Miguel Mendiola finished with a pair of receptions for 23 yards, while also rushing for 35 yards on six carries.

Cozart explained that the second half was all about making adjustments.

“They were adjusting a certain way to one of our formations that allowed us to get a mismatch that we hadn’t had in the run game until then, so we had to do everything we could to take advantage of that,” Cozart shared. “Once it was there, we just kept going at it.”

Defensively, junior Marty Collins recorded an interception for Patterson, while junior Boss Foumai recorded a sack and a fumble recovery. Senior Javier Alvarado also recovered a fumble in the first quarter. Senior Logan Foumai also recorded a sack.

Los Banos found most of their offensive success on the ground. Senior Justin Incaprera led the home team, with nine carries for 102 yards and a touchdown to lead all running backs. Most of those yards came on one play. Incaprera gashed Patterson with an 85-yard touchdown run with 6:51 left in the second quarter, to trim Patterson’s lead to 10-7 at the time.

Los Banos’ only other scoring play came at the beginning of the third quarter, when senior Colby Copp hit senior Jacob Johnson on a slant play for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Outside of those two plays, it was all Patterson.

Patterson began with a successful 27-yard field goal attempt by junior Adrian Melesio.

They then took a 10-0 lead when McCleery hit Imhoff for a 28-yard touchdown.

Trailing 13-10 with 7:31 left in the third quarter, Melesio hit his second field goal of the night, this time a 20-yard attempt, to knot the game up at 13-13.

Imada then awarded Patterson the lead, with a 15-yard touchdown run with 3:13 left in the third.

Godbolt then found himself in the end zone following an eight-yard touchdown run, before busting a 26-yard touchdown run later in the fourth quarter, to put Patterson comfortably ahead 34-13. Melesio’s 27-yard field goal moved the score to its final resting place at 37-13 with 6:39 left in regulation.

Modesto High next up

Modesto High will be coming off their bye week to host Patterson High on Friday, Sept. 13 at Gregori High.

The Panthers have yet to record a win so far this season, with a 49-0 loss to Clovis in week one, and a much closer 20-14 loss to Beyer on Aug. 30.

Modesto got the best of Patterson last year with a 47-40 victory at Patterson Community Stadium. The Tigers will look to do the same to Modesto in 2019.

Patterson will also have the opportunity to finish out their out-of-conference schedule with a 3-1 record as they head into a very tough Buhach Colony matchup on Sept. 20 in the first game of the Central California Conference portion of the season.

The game is currently scheduled for 7 p.m. at Gregori High.

PI sports writer

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