LARGO – Despite an awe-inspiring performance from St. Vincent Pallotti running back Jaret Patterson, Riverdale Baptist quarterback Terrell Blount and the Crusader defense managed to make enough plays to deliver a victory. The bounce beat from the band flowed throughout the park every time the Crusaders scored in their 35-18 victory. The score might indicate […]
LARGO – Despite an awe-inspiring performance from St. Vincent Pallotti running back Jaret Patterson, Riverdale Baptist quarterback Terrell Blount and the Crusader defense managed to make enough plays to deliver a victory.
The bounce beat from the band flowed throughout the park every time the Crusaders scored in their 35-18 victory. The score might indicate that the Crusaders cruised to victory rather easily, but the process leading to their win was anything but that.
“We started off a little flat. I didn’t think we came off really ready. And that’s my fault as a head coach,” Crusader Head Coach Caesar Nettles said. “After we settled down and we really started executing, I thought we did a good job.”
The Crusaders were able to send their seniors off the right way, Nettles said, with a win. The game could have been closer than the score indicated, because of long runs from Patterson. But the defense made plays when they had to ensuring they stopped him.
Patterson had three big runs on the day. He had a 37-yard rush in the second quarter when he broke three tackles at the line of scrimmage and danced through the secondary, only to get stopped at the Crusader 42-yard-line.
“That kid is a phenomenal athlete. We knew early on we were going to have to crowd him. I told the guys that he was going to make plays, but we were able to chase him down,” Nettles said.
Patterson’s day started off strong, accumulating 66 yards throughout the first two Pallotti drives. The Crusader’s rushing defense looked weak after allowing 186 total rushing yards in the first half, but they managed to hold Pallotti to only one touchdown because of their pursuit of the ball.
Despite having two more runs of 50 or more yards, Patterson did not accrue a rushing touchdown on the day. He finished the game with 286 rushing yards on 28 carries, but the lone touchdown he had was on a 27-yard swing pass from quarterback Anthony Nelson, Jr., who finished with two passing touchdowns on the day.
Blount, who finished the game with three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown, said the Panthers beat a good Pallotti team and now have a solid rhythm closing out the season.
“I feel really good and I feel blessed that we came out here and didn’t take anything for granted,” Blount said. “We worked hard all week in practice. I’m just glad we didn’t lose our momentum.”
Blount only missed four passes on the day, going 11-for-15 for 183 yards. The off-schedule plays the Blount and the Crusaders made really turned the game around.
Despite falling down 6-0 early on after Pallotti broke the ice first, the Crusaders responded by driving up the field. Blount punched in their first touchdown of the game from four yards out.
But he really showcased his skill on his second passing touchdown of the game. Blount’s initial reads were covered, so he scrambled outside of the pocket to his right to buy time for his receivers. Once things broke down, a defender dove at his ankles and wrapped his legs.
But as he fell, he delivered a strike to Cody Wilburn in the back of the endzone giving the Crusaders a 13-6 lead. He made a similar play in the second half to Wilburn as well.
“When plays break down, I just try to find ways to make it happen. I don’t want to waste plays. I just wanted to find a way to get it done for our seniors on senior night,” Blount said.
Pallotti 6 6 6 0 – 18
Riverdale 7 13 8 7 – 35
P – James Patterson 2-yard TD run
RB – Terrell Blount 4-yard TD run
RB – Blount 57-yard TD pass to Cody Wilburn
P – Anthony Nelson, Jr. 27-yard TD pass to Jaret Patterson
RB – Zech McPherson 77-yard kickoff return
RB – Blount 12-yard TD pass to Tariq Castro-Fields
P – Nelson Jr. 24-yard TD pass to James Patterson
RB – Blount 22-yard TD pass to Wilburn