Pat Freshmen Rally Against Raiders
After falling behind 12-7 against the Richmond Green, the Pinecrest freshmen tightened their defense and came away with a hard-fought 27-12 victory Thursday afternoon.
In the first game of a freshmen-junior varsity doubleheader at the John Williams Athletic Complex, the Patriots, now 5-1, looked sharp offensively while driving 65 yards for a touchdown on the first series of the contest. Zach Strickland scored on a 12-yard run and Frankie Painter kicked the extra point.
Richmond answered with a 75-yard scoring play early in the second period, but a one-on-one tackle by Zachary Harris squelched the run for two points, keeping the Patriots in front 7-6.
Blake Thompson recovered a Raider fumble and the Patriots turned the ball over twice during a sloppily played quarter. On the final play of the half, the Raiders scored a touchdown on a fourth-down pass to move in front 12-7.
That was the last time the Raiders would make it into Patriot territory in the game. On the first series of the third period, the Patriot defense recovered an errant lateral pass at the Raider 36-yard line.
Strickland had a run of seven yards before going the distance from 25 yards out several plays later. The extra point kick by Painter gave the home team a 14-12 lead.
Richmond managed to make a couple of first downs on the next series before being forced to punt. The Patriots' Daniel Harman broke several tackles on a 28-yard return to the Raider 28.
On the second play of the possession, Strickland gained 17 yards to the 11. Four plays later, Jeremy Klimek took it into the end zone from four yards out. The conversion kick was blocked and the Patriots lead remained at 20-12.
The visitors started from their own 26 with just over seven minutes remaining in the game. But the Patriot defense was up to the task.
On first down, linebacker Jonah Caliri diagnosed a Raider screen pass correctly and tackled the receiver for a five-yard loss. An incomplete pass was followed by a hard rush on the Raider quarterback that resulted in an intentional grounding penalty.
On fourth down, Harman grabbed a short punt and returned it 17 yards to the Raider 12. The Raider defense held and recovered a blocked Patriot field-goal attempt at its own 23 with 4:01 remaining.
The Raiders were penalized five yards before Matthew Carlson blew through the line to sack the quarterback for an eight-yard loss. On second down, Khalid Alexander hit the quarterback again for the loss of another yard.
On the next play, two Patriot defenders sandwiched a Raider receiver as he was about to catch the ball near the line of scrimmage. Thompson picked off the tipped ball and returned it eight yards for a touchdown. The conversion by Painter made it 27-12.
The Patriot freshmen are at home again next Thursday when they are scheduled to meet the Richmond Gold.
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