Patterson starts district tonight against North Vermilion

By: Staff Reports
Patterson head coach Tommy Minton is working to keep his highly-Lumberjacks focused on their first goal — the District 9-3A championship.

“We usually don’t go into district play after just two ball games,” he said. “But that’s what we are facing, so we have to be ready.”

The 13-year coach is known for putting his teams through a brutal nondistrict schedule to prepare for district play and the accompanying playoff run.

But Patterson’s first game against Crowley was cancelled because of inclement weather and the Jacks had little trouble with Central Lafourche and St. James.

“We’re in a new district this year and district schedule started a bit early but our seniors know what district games mean and they will get the younger kids ready to go,” Minton said.

The Lumberjacks opened last season 0-2 before winning a school-record 12 consecutive games on the road to the Superdome and a Class 3A state runners-up finish.

Patterson, ranked second in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s weekly poll, has outscored opponents 83-0 in the first two games.

The PHS defense has been dominant allowing just 259 yards — that’s less than 130 yards per game. The Jacks held St. James to 91 total yards Friday.

“We created some early turnovers, and we were able to capitalize on them,” Minton said. “That really took the wind out of St. James’ sail.”

The PHS defense has forced six turnovers in the first two games.

North Vermilion (1-2) brings an option attack into Friday’s district opener. The Patriots lost to Catholic High of New Iberia, 32-0, last week.

N. Vermilion was held to just 77 yards rushing and 72 yards passing in the loss.

Jeremy James led all NV rushers with 54 yards on 10 carries.

“We have to play responsibility football against the option,” Minton said. “They also like to setup the deep ball off of play action. They will try to go up top four or five times a game.”

NV quarterback Joe Duhon was 9-for-22 passing with two interceptions Friday.

His top target, Landon Dupuy, had four catches for 26 yards. Dane Briggs contributed 23 yards on four receptions.

“We will play man coverage so we should be in position when they try to take their shots downfield,” Minton said.

Patterson’s offense has been stellar so far averaging 412.5 yards per game. The Jacks’ had 397 yards of total offense despite resting the starters early in the third quarter last week.

Senior quarterback Justice Jones was 14-of-22 passing for 178 yards with three touchdowns. He has completed 34-of-49 passes for 441 yards and seven scores. Jones is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes.

Jaydrick Declouet led the PHS receivers with seven catches for 109 yards with two touchdowns. He has 16 catches for 201 yards and five touchdowns.

Running back Trevon Stewart also had an outstanding all-around game last week; he had 166 combined yards including two rushing touchdowns and a receiving score.

“Our passing game has been a little ahead of our running game,” Minton said. “We had a lot of experience returning there and the kids worked really hard in the passing game this summer but will continue work on the run game. Our young offensive line just needs to develop a mean streak. Running the football is an attitude.”

Stewart led the Jacks’ rushers with six carries for 65 yards and two scores, while Mark Jones had six carries for 40 yards.

N. Vermilion runs a defense that features a four-man front with zone coverage in the secondary.

“I think we can get the passing game going early against their soft zone with some underneath routes,” Minton said.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at the Sugardome.

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