Just 11 seconds into the season Patterson had already tallied their first touchdown against Tokay High School on Friday, Aug. 23 at Patterson Community Stadium.
Senior Obadiah Godbolt’s electric 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was about as good as it gets to open a season.
“He can stop on a dime. He can get going 100 miles an hour and then right after that change direction and change the field,” head coach Rob Cozart said about Godbolt’s special team’s prowess. “It just makes us very explosive. We have a lot of speed in that sense.”
The Tigers carried that momentum with 34 unanswered points in the first half to defeat visiting Tokay 48-14 in week one of the regular season.
Due to strong play by the special teams unit, field position most of the game.
Following Godbolt’s opener, junior kicker Adrian Melesio was able to convert on a 32 and 49-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 13-0 lead.
Yet despite a less than savory opening act, Tokay High continued to battle.
After driving the ball for 64 yards, they were on the precipice of potentially cutting into a vulnerable Patterson advantage in the closing minutes of the first quarter, but the Tigers’ defense came up big with a stop on their own 16-yard line to steer Tokay away. Senior Davante Imhoff recorded an interception. His 95-yard return for a touchdown was erased due to a penalty, but nonetheless his effort ensured Tokay remained off the board.
As the game went on penalties turned out to be a thorn in Patterson’s side. Despite the hindrance, the Tigers were not punished for their mistakes.
“Some of our penalties were selfish penalties. Had no business doing what they were doing, so they got penalized for it. Stuff that didn’t even matter. That didn’t affect the play at all,” Cozart said reflecting on the 15 penalties recorded by the Tigers against Tokay.
When the Patterson offense found success, they found it in a big way.
Thanks to a 91-yard touchdown pass and run from junior Logan McCleery to senior Javier Huizar, the Tigers scored their first offensive touchdown with 9:19 left in the second quarter.
The Patterson defense backed that up with yet another mighty effort when senior Javier Alvarado sacked junior quarterback Jacob Varney, forcing the ball to squirt out in the Tokay end zone. Patterson’s Marty Collins recovered the loose ball to convert on a touchdown and put Patterson up 27-0 with 3:28 left in the second quarter.
Patterson finished off the first half scoring with an impressive 97-yard touchdown run from junior Jordan Imada. Imada, despite having to leave the game early with an ankle injury in the third quarter, still tallied 187 yards of rushing on 12 carries against Tokay.
Cozart was pleased to see such strong play from his team in the first half, but expressed a desire to see more consistency from his squad moving forward.
“For us to be doing some really good things in the first half, especially defensively, was good. We saw some flashes of some really good defensive play,” Cozart said following the victory. “We were explosive on offense and special teams, but we can’t live that way. We can’t be that flash in the pan. We didn’t sustain a drive tonight, but we were able to score from everywhere so that’s always a good thing to have.”
Tokay found some life in the third quarter with a touchdown pass from Varney to junior Vincent Romero, but Patterson immediately answered with a 57-yard touchdown run from Imada to put the score at 41-7 with 10:21 left in the third quarter.
The visitors scored their second and final touchdown of the night when junior Joseph Filippini capped off a long drive with a five-yard touchdown run.
Godbolt recorded the final scoring play of the evening with a 28-yard touchdown run, to move the score to its final resting place at 48-14.
Stats from week one victory
Junior Logan McCleery had a clean game for Patterson going 10-23 for 192 yards and a touchdown.
His favorite target was sophomore Javier Huizar. Huizar finished the game with four catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.
Godbolt had three carries for 49 yards rushing and a touchdown and four catches for 38 yards receiving on offense, while posting an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Imhoff, Godbolt and Collins all recorded interceptions on defense, while senior Omar Ortega and Javier Alvarado recorded sacks, the latter forcing a fumble that resulted in a Patterson touchdown.
Tokay quarterback Jacob Varney went 20-30 for 227 yards and a touchdown with three interceptions. He also had five carries for 29 yards.
Tokay junior Vincent Romero received three catches for 67 yards. Senior Colby Baker had six catches for 58 yards and junior Joseph Filippini put together 17 carries for 31 yards and four receptions for 67 yards.
Patterson had 15 penalties for 130 yards as a team, while Tokay was penalized five times for 55 yards.
Tigers to host defending section champs
Week two of the season will without a doubt be one of the toughest challenges of the season, when Patterson hosts Capital Christian on Friday, Aug. 30 at Patterson Community Stadium.
The defending CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III champions recorded a commanding 32-7 win over Cosumnes Oaks in week one, and will certainly look to continue to defend their title with a win over the Tigers this Friday.
Patterson lost 49-7 in last year’s matchup at Capital Christian High School in Sacramento.
Cozart recognized the challenge ahead, but wants his team to take on the task head-on.
“We have to refuse to quit. They’re going to be in a fight so keep fighting,” Cozart said. “I’m hoping that we can rise to the occasion and put up a good effort and a good attitude because those are two things they can’t control. Cap Chrisitan can’t control our attitude and effort.”