A loss to Modesto in week four, and a 65-31 loss to Buhach Colony in their first-ever league match in the Central California Conference (CCC) last Friday has dropped the Tigers to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in league play, but the Patterson High varsity football team will look to snap the skid with a quality effort against Golden Valley on Friday.

Looking for their first league victory in the CCC, head coach Rob Cozart stated what he wants to see from his team.

“Focus, attitude and effort. The offensive/defensive line are really the only positions on the field that have significant varsity-level “game experience” and at times that has definitely shown, especially in the more competitive games. We knew the CCC would be a big step-up for us, so we tried to schedule a pre-season to prepare us. I still think it has, but if we don’t bring a common focus and attitude to each game moving forward, it may end up being a long season,” Cozart said via email. “I see glimpses of what we can definitely become as a collective team, so once it all clicks for all of the positions (not just one or two groups), we will all see a much-improved team. We’re right there…no one has lost any faith in that.”

With a bye week last week, Golden Valley has yet to play a league game this season. The Cougars will travel to Patterson Community Stadium to begin their CCC campaign. They put together a 3-1 record during their out-of-conference schedule by defeating Livermore, Hoover and Livingston. Their only loss came to Centennial on Aug. 31.

Senior Jaren Phillips has been their leading rusher so far this season, with 70 carries for 340 yards and four touchdowns. The Cougars have averaged 118.8 rushing yards per game and 43.3 passing yards per game so far this season. The Golden Valley defense has two shutouts under their belt against Hoover and Livingston. In four games, the Cougar defense has allowed an average of 11 points per game.

Patterson will host Golden Valley on Friday at Patterson Community Stadium. The game is set for 7 p.m.

Tigers drop to 2-3

Patterson could not find a remedy to slow down Buhach Colony. The inability to deter the Thunder offense and four turnovers was a blend for demise. The Thunder ran the ball effectively against Patterson, with 41 carries and 359 yards total as a team. Buhach Colony also won the turnover battle, with two turnovers to Patterson’s five last Friday.

The first quarter was all Buhach Colony. Senior Brandon Ruiz hit Youlan Dickson with a 12-yard touchdown pass for the first score of the game. Buhach Colony converted on a two-point attempt to be up 8-0. Junior O’Shea Ward put the Thunder up 15-0 with an 11-yard touchdown run.

Patterson’s offense responded in the second quarter with a 28-yard field goal from Adrian Melesio, but the Thunder responded with an O’Shea touchdown run.

Senior Nate Garcia’s one-yard touchdown run got Patterson in the end zone to cut the lead to 22-10, but the Thunder gained the upper hand with two straight touchdowns to balloon the lead. Ruiz hit senior Joshua Goodman with a pass-and-run play for a touchdown. Goodman followed that up with a 29-yard touchdown run.

Sophomore Logan McCleery hit Moses Ruelas with a 30-yard touchdown pass in response, but the Thunder would close out the quarter with a pair of touchdown runs from Goodman and senior Owen Thomas, to head into halftime up a commanding 44-17 lead at halftime. Patterson would tack on 14 points in the second half, but it was no match for the Thunder, who continued to score frequently resulting in a 65-31 loss.

McCleery went 22-37 for a robust 347 yards and two touchdowns, but a total of four interceptions put a damper on his high volume of passing yards performance.

Senior Moses Ruelas was huge for Patterson, making perhaps the most exciting play of the game in the third quarter, when he made a spectacular catch that led to a touchdown. Ruelas ended the game with four catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns for the Tigers.

Senior Miguel Alvarez caught six passes for 96 yards. Senior Nate Garcia had nine rushes for 49 yards and a touchdown.

PI sports writer

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