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Despite a performance riddled with turnovers and penalties, the Patriots defeat Pulaski County.
9/13/2013, Patrick Henry (21) at Pulaski County (14). Patrick Henry quarterback Anthony Merritt celebrates with his teammates after scoring a touchdown to tie Pulaski County in the fourth quarter. The Patriots would win the game later on Trevor Mike's second touchdown of the night.
Friday, September 13, 2013
DUBLIN, Va. - Less than two minutes into the second quarter of Friday's game , Patrick Henry had held the ball for less than four minutes, committed four penalties, had just two plays that had gone for more than four yards and committed four turnovers.
Final score: Patrick Henry 21, Pulaski County 14.
"We had four turnovers in our first four possessions and I'm thinking, in the first half, we made about every mistake you can make in a football game," Patriots head coach Alan Fiddler said. "I told the kids at halftime, we're going to find out what we're made of in the second half, see what kind of character we have."
The Cougars (1-2) led 14-0 at halftime, but were kicking themselves for converting those four Patriots turnovers into just seven points. That one touchdown drive was the highlight of the night for Pulaski County - an 11-play, 50-yard drive that devoured more than six minutes of the first quarter and ended on a one-yard keeper by quarterback Marcus Johnston.
Just before halftime, the Cougars embarked on a nine-play, 49-yard drive that was aided by a roughing penalty on the Patriots.
Though the Patriots (2-1) had not been moving the ball, Cougars head coach Todd Jones had a bad feeling about how the second half would unfold.
"You can't leave points on the field," Jones said. "We've got to put points on the board because they're a good football team. Man, you can't give a good football team time and let them stay in the game."
Trevor Mike was the catalyst for Patrick Henry's second-half revival. After gathering 23 yards in the first half, he powered the Patriots' first touchdown drive, ending an eight-play, 50-yard drive with a seven-yard run.
As the Cougars' sputtering offense worsened, Patrick Henry began to gain steam. Pinned at their own 10 yard line to start their first possession of the fourth quarter, the Patriots wrested momentum away from Pulaski once and for all.
On a creative 11-play drive, the Patriots covered the length of the field. The key play was quarterback Anthony Merritt's 24-yard completion to Cortez Ogden on a 4-and-2 at Pulaski's 45. Three plays later, Merritt dove in from one yard out to tie the game.
After another three-and-out by the Cougars, Mike scored the game-winner on a 53-yard burst up the middle.
Mike finished with 133 yards on 17 carries, more than half of Patrick Henry's 252 total yards of offense. Johnston paced the Cougars with 70 yards on 17 carries, nearly half of the team's 141 total yards.
"We came on the road and won in a tough place to win," Fiddler said. "This is our third road game in a row and we're getting ready to go on the road again next week, so hopefully this will help in the future."
Patrick Henry 0 0 7 14-21
Pulaski County 7 7 0 0-14
PC - Johnston 1 run (Chrisley kick)
PC - Jones 1 run (Chrisley kick)
PH - Mike 1 run (Davidson kick)
PH - Merritt 1 run (Davidson kick)
PH - Mike 53 run (Davidson kick)
First downs 10 10
Yards rushing 34-176 48-141
Passes C-A-I 4-9-3 0-6-0
Yards passing 76 0
Penalties-yards 11-86 9-75
Fumbles-lost 2-1 0-0
Punts-average 4-21 7-28
RUSHING - Patrick Henry, Mike 17-133, Calfee 3-(-4), Thompson 8-35, Merritt 5-14, Tucker 1-(-2). Pulaski County, McDonald 1-(-5), Dillon 10-28, Tyler 1-(-4), Rollins 13-28, Johnston 17-70, Jones 6-24.
PASSING - Patrick Henry, Calfee 2-7-3-44, Merritt 2-2-0-32. Pulaski County, Johnston 0-6-0-0.
RECEIVING - Patrick Henry, Whorley 1-26, Ogden 2-42, Comer 1-8.
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