Patriots slay Dragons to celebrate Homecoming

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The Patriots defeated the Stranahan High School Dragons in Friday’s Homecoming game 39-6 to improve their record to 6-1 on the season. A night full of fans and cheers from the crowd, the game was filled with big runs, trick plays and great defense.

The Patriots struck first on a 15-yard quarterback keeper from junior Edwin Rhodes only three minutes into the game, after the Patriots defense forced a three-and-out and punt. Head Coach Patrick Surtain dialed up some trickery for Homecoming, converting a two-point conversion on a pass from senior running back Tyler Jones to his counterpart senior running back Brandon Cohen, putting the Patriots up 8-0.

Another defensive stand by the Patriots combined with a short punt from the Dragons, landed the Pats with great field position. However, after advancing the ball to the opposing 8-yard line, Patriots couldn’t manage to get in the endzone, culminating in 25-yard chip shot from senior kicker Jimmy Lowery.

Now up 11, the Patriots defense forced another three-and-out, giving the ball back to Rhodes and the offense. The Patriots worked their way down the field with big runs from senior running back Lavelton Williams. However, the Patriots coughed it up on the Stranahan 32-yard line, giving the ball back to the Dragons.

A minute into the second quarter, the Dragons were forced to punt back to the Pats. Williams ran all over the Dragons’ defense, bringing the Patriots inside the redzone after two rushes. However on his third rushing attempt of the drive, Williams punched it in from one yard out, putting the Patriots up 18-0.

The ensuing Dragon possession ended quickly after sophomore Omar Simpson Jr. picked the ball off at the Heritage 27-yard line. The Patriots marched down the field with big runs from Jones and Williams, as well as a diving catch from senior receiver Reece Malvasio. The drive stalled at the Dragons’ 20-yard line after a failed fourth down try from the Pats. However, it only took one play for the Patriots to get the ball back after senior linebacker Dorian Jones, forced and recovered a fumble on the opposing 5-yard line. Tyler Jones took it on the first play into the end zone, expanding the Patriots’ lead to 25.

The second half of the game consisted of mostly runs and defense, with very little action occurring. The Patriots were able to find the promised land twice more on rushing touchdown from Rhodes and reception from Malvasio from senior receiver and safety Michael Webber II, both coming early in the the third quarter.

Scoring came to stop for the rest of the game, until a Dragon touchdown off a 15-yard pass with two minutes left in the game. An unsuccessful two-point try left the score at 39-6.

The Patriots improve their record to 6-1 and sit atop the rankings for Class 5A. The team will be at home again next week, as it faces its arch rival Cardinal Gibbons.

Photos taken by Angela Lin

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