Patterson High School's Dajon Richard runs with the football while teammates block during Friday's 28-21 victory against North Vermilion in Patterson's District 8-3A opener. Richard scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter to secure the win. He rushed 17 times for 112 yards and threw for another 139 and two touchdowns. Patterson will continue district play Friday when it travels to face Abbeville. (The Daily Review/Mico Aloisio)
Richard's late touchdown lifts Patterson past North Vermilion
Patterson and North Vermilion went blow-for-blow until the fourth quarter when the Lumberjacks scored twice to upend the Patriots 28-21 in the District 8-3A opener for both teams.
North Vermilion (4-2, 0-1) scored first on the opening possession of the game, a five-play, 63 yard dri0ve that Creed Rudd capped on a 14-yard run with 9:25 remaining in the first quarter.
Patterson (3-3, 1-0) answered early in the second quarter when quarterback Dajon Richard hooked up with Ayden LeBlanc on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 9:52 left in the first half. Bryce Daigle’s point-after attempt tied the game at 7, which also was the halftime score.
“We didn’t play good in the first half and taking nothing from North Vermilion,” Patterson Coach Ryan Stewart said. “They’re a good team, but I had to get on my guys at halftime.”
Drew Lucas took the second-half kickoff into Patriots’ territory before Dontre Nicholas took a handoff and darted 49 yards for a touchdown. Patterson led 14-7 after Daigle’s point-after attempt with 11:15 remaining in the third quarter.
But the back-and-fourth affair continued when North Vermilion running back Malik Criner ripped off his own 49-yard scoring run with 8:45 remaining in the third to tie the game at 14. Criner had 188 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns.
He added an 11 yard score with 5 seconds remaining in the third quarter to give North Vermilion a 21-14 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Patterson answered when Richard found Irving Celestine along sideline, and he raced 65 yards for the score with just 3:39 left in the game. However, ’Jacks’ kicker Bryce Daigle missed the point after kick, so North Vermilion clung to a 21-20 lead.
Patterson shocked North Vermilion with an onside kick that the ’Jacks recovered at North Vermilion’s 43 yard line.
Patterson marched down to the goal line, and Richard capped the drive and the win with a 1-yard touchdown run. Richard also added a two-point conversion for the 28-21 win.
Richard completed 5-of-10 passing for 139 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried 17 times for 112 yards and a score.
“I’m not happy with the play overall, but you can’t beat a W and a W is a W and that’s what we are going to go with,” Stewart said.
Nicholas was the ’Jacks’ leading rusher with 20 carries for 117 and a score.
Leading receivers were Nicholas with two catches for 43 yards while LeBlanc, Lucas and Celestine had one catch each. LeBlanc’s and Celestine’s both were touchdown receptions.
Patterson totaled 395 yards (139 passing and 256 rushing), while North Vermilion had 256 total yards (71 passing and 185 rushing).
Patterson will continue district play Friday, traveling to Abbeville (2-4, 0-1).