A clash of streaks
Patterson and Jennings come into Friday’s quarterfinals playoff game on long winning streaks.
Patterson (10-2), the fourth-seed, has won 10 straight games after starting the season 0-2 while Jennings (9-3), the fifth-seed, has reeled off eight consecutive victories.
The Lumberjacks took an early lead Friday and held on to beat Loranger 16-14. Patterson jumped out to a 16-0 lead before the game tightened up just before halftime.
The ’Jacks got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter when quarterback Jake Lagrange found Mykel Jones on a 3-yard touchdown pass with 2:29 remaining. The score was setup by a 27-yard punt return by Daylon Charlot and a 21-yard catch by Jones. Lagrange scored on a 2-pt conversion run for an 8-0 lead.
Patterson linebacker Jedrick Gunner scooped up a Loranger fumble and returned it 14 yards down to the Wolves’ 19-yard line.
After a Patterson penalty and a sack of Lagrange, the junior hooked up with Jones again for a 33-yard score with 7:01 remaining in the second quarter. Lagrange added another 2-pt conversion run to extend Patterson’s lead to 16-0.
LaGrange was 9-of-26 passing for 81 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
He has completed 22-of-48 passes for 268 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions this season. LaGrange started his second straight game in for injured starter Spencer Landry Friday. Landry is out with a cracked collarbone.
Jones was the leading receiver with seven catches for 77 yards and two scores. He has hauled in 56 catches for 922 yards and 12 scores. Charlot, the ’Jacks other standout receiver, has caught 45 balls for 937 yards and 14 touchdowns despite seeing double coverage in the second half of the season.
“We want to execute the short passing game this week,” Patterson head coach Tommy Minton said. “Jake and the receivers have been really sharp in practice this week, and I think we can get some big plays there.”
Patterson went to its ground attack in the second half last week with senior running back Deontay Jones pounding the ball against Loranger’s loaded defensive front. Deontay Jones carried 21 times for 79 yards to lead the ’Jacks. The senior has carried 135 times for 775 yards and 14 scores this season.
Tristen Ausama also has rushed for 581 yards on 78 carries and two scores this season.
“We will see a four-man front this week, and we should be able to run the ball better,” Minton said. “Loranger kept six in the box.”
Jennings beat rival Westlake 38-13 last week. It was the Bulldogs’ second win in three weeks against Westlake after topping them 40-21 in Week 10.
Earlier this season in week 5, the Lumberjacks held on to defeat Westlake 40-34.
In Jennings’ matchup with the Bulldogs a week ago, Jennings jumped out to as much as a 38-0 lead in the game, including touchdowns on their first two possessions.
Heading to the fourth quarter, Jennings held a 169-52 advantage in total yards.
“They run the split back veer, and the quarterback and both running backs are really good ball carriers,” Minton said. “We have to play assignment football to slow down the run.”
The ’Jacks allow just more than 134 yards per game rushing.
Patterson held Loranger to 185 total yards (145 passing and 40 rushing). Defensive standouts included Jerome Jennings, Shundren Johnson, Taylor Harris and Kendall Hunter.
Malik Bass and Shelby Lavergne both had interceptions. Lavergne’s pick with 39 seconds remaining secured the win.
Standout linebacker Nehemiah Augustus dressed out but didn’t play for the second week in a row with an injury
“He practiced the last two days and looked really good,” Minton said. “I expect him to be a force Friday.”
Kickoff is 7 p.m.
The game can be heard on KQKI 95.3 FM, KBZE 105.9 FM and KFRA 1390 AM