The Patriots fell to the Carol City Chiefs Friday night by a score of 34-16. The loss snapped the 29-game win streak and started off their regular season at 0-1. The Chiefs took command of the game early on in just the second play; running back Nayquan Wright broke free past the Patriots defense for an 80-yard touchdown run to put the score at 7-0.
It wasn’t long until the Patriots responded with a score of their own. On their inaugural drive, junior quarterback Edwin Rhodes drove the offense down the field until he strolled untouched into the end zone from 16 yards out to knot up the game at 7-7.
The Patriots continued to assert their dominance as they jumped ahead with 1 minute left in the first quarter following a 44-yard field goal by Senior kicker Jimmy Lowery. On the ensuing defensive drive, Heritage defensive back Sophomore James Williams was able to intercept Chief’s Quarterback Daniel Richardson to close out the first quarter.
Both squads would remain scoreless until Richardson tossed a 25 yard touchdown to wideout Amari Johnson to give the Chiefs a 14-10 lead with four minutes remaining in the first half. Heritage and Carol City would exchange punts before heading to the locker rooms for halftime.
The Patriots started the second half by fumbling on the kickoff, giving the Chiefs an optimal field position inside the 30 yard line. Carol City would soon capitalize as Richardson would throw his second touchdown of the game, hitting wide receiver Thaiu Jones-Bell on a fourth down from 14 yards out. Despite the missed extra point, the Chiefs still took control of the game, leading 20-10.
After the following Heritage offensive drive resulted in a punt, the Chiefs marched down the field again, ending the drive with a 1 yard touchdown run. Carol City elected to try a two point conversion, succeeded in doing so and extended the lead to 28-10 with 5:43 remaining in the third.
Following the kickoff, Chief’s defensive back Gregory Reddick intercepted Rhodes at the 35 yard line. Reddick returned the pick 35 yards to the endzone to give Carol City a 34-10 advantage, after the blocked extra point.
The next drives resulted in punts for the Patriots; however, with 6:25 left in regulation, the Patriots recovered a muffed punt in Chief’s territory at the 35 yard line. The drive successfully ended when Rhodes found wide receiver Sophomore Jacolby Spells for a 35 yard touchdown pass, trimming the lead to 34-16 after a failed two-point conversion. The Patriots had one more drive in the red zone with the chance to cut the lead to one possession with a score and a two-point conversion, but turned over on downs.
The Patriots will look to bounce back from Friday’s 18-point loss and even their record at 1-1 when they square off next Saturday, September 1st against the St. Joseph Regional Green Knights.