Patterson High School's Dajon Richard dives into the end zone during the live quarter portion of the Lumberjacks' scrimmage with Cecilia at Patterson High School Thursday. Patterson fell 21-13 in the live quarter, with Richard scoring both of Patterson's touchdowns. The Lumberjacks are led this year by first-year coach Don Jones. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Patterson concludes spring drills against Cecilia
The Patterson Lumberjacks may have come up short in its 15-minute live quarter with Cecilia, but first-year head coach Don Jones said he was pleased with his team’s effort and physicality.
After going through play blocks of the first- and second-teams squaring off twice, the teams played a live quarter that Cecilia won, 21-13.
However, Jones said the goal in spring was to get back to playing physical football, something he said Patterson accomplished.
“Some of them had their head down because we lost the quarter,” Jones said. “If you know anything about football, it wasn’t on the scoreboard. We punished these people. We put three or four of them out, and we hurt this team. They were running three or four or five different groups, and we were running two, because we had so many quit, but I’ll go to war with this bunch over any of them.”
Cecilia coach Dennis Skains complimented the Lumberjacks on their physicality and said that their physical nature is why his squad plays Patterson.
In the live quarter, Cecilia didn’t take long to score as J.P. Morale intercepted Patterson quarterback Randy Paul’s first pass attempt on the second play of the quarter and returned it about 35 yards for a touchdown with 14:34 remaining. Tanner Olivier’s kick gave Cecilia a 7-0 lead.
Patterson responded approximately seven minutes later on its third drive that was capped by a dive into the end zone from standout running back Dajon Richard on fourth-and-goal from the Cecilia 1-yard line with 7:42 remaining in the quarter. Jose Rivera’s extra point tied the score at 7.
Patterson scored again after its defense forced a turnover.
The Lumberjacks’ Irvin Celestine intercepted a pass, giving Patterson the ball at its own 47.
Two plays later, Richard broke a 41-yard run for a score. The extra point was no good, but Patterson led 13-7.
Cecilia, however, responded with touchdowns on its next two drives as quarterback Lance Williams scored on a 50-yard run with 3:42 remaining. Olivier’s extra point gave Cecilia a 14-13 lead.
The Bulldogs scored the game’s final touchdown with 1:12 remaining when Williams connected with Ethan Howard on about a 40-yard reception.
Cecilia, a Class 4A quarterfinalist a season ago, has to replace a large senior class of about 30 players. However, Skains said he liked what they had this year.
As for spring, he said football coaches are never happy with the results.
“When spring football (ends), I always laugh because everybody says, ‘how was spring?’, and you’re never happy,” Skains said. “There’s not a coach out there that’s happy right now, just because it’s never the finished product that you want. We have a lot of work to do, but the one thing that they’ve given us from Day 1 is the effort. … Our job is to coach them up, and as long as they give us the effort, we should be pretty good.”
In the individual play blocks, Patterson’s first team scored twice, and its defense held Cecilia scoreless.
“We pretty much dominated this game except the quarter, but towards the end, we just got a little tired there,” Jones said.
Patterson’s touchdown came on its first drive. The drive began with a big play as Paul dropped back and completed a 40-yard pass to Richard that the receiver caught in stride down to the Cecilia 30.
Later in the drive, Richard scored on an 8-yard run, and Rivera converted the extra point.
In its second set of play blocks, Richard scored on an 11-yard run, but the extra point was no good.
“We haven’t even scratched the surface with offense,” Jones said. “We just lined up in the base I-formation. We didn’t even get in the gun today, because the whole game plan of spring was to get these guys back to Friday Night Lights football, physically. Physically, like the old days.”
Cecilia’s second team scored a touchdown in the play blocks on a 70-plus yard run on the first play of its second set of plays, and Olivier’s extra point was good.
Patterson also got two second-team scores in the play blocks on its second possession.
The first score came when Louis Jones connected with Elijah Williams for a 60-yard score, while the second score came five plays later on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Jaquandre Williams.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with spring, and the last thing I want to say is it’s a great day to be a Lumberjack,” Jones said.