by Bill Turner
The stage was set last Friday night for the classic AAA showdown at Merrill Gainer Field. Patrick Henry, which opened the season with four decisive wins over AA schools, hosted powerhouse Battlefield, who rolled into Roanoke having won 11 of their last 12 games, including the Division 6 AAA state championship in 2010.
Things looked good for the Patriots early as David Prince orchastrated a first- quarter touchdown drive culminated by a 11-yard pass to Cortez Ogden. Jacob Otterman’s point-after put PH up 7-0.
Battlefield had little success moving the ball early, and Patrick Henry appeared set to go up by 14 before a Bobcat interception thwarted a Patriot drive deep in Battlefield territory. The turn in momentum led to the tieing Bobcat touchdown in the second quarter. PH regained the lead on an Otterman 36-yard field goal to send the Patriots to the break with the 3-point advantage.
Battlefield retook the lead to start the third quarter on an 83-yard drive, finished off by a Michael Tolliver 2-yard run, The PAT put the Bobcats up 14-10.
Battlefield capitalized on Patriot miscues to add to their lead in the fourth. A misplayed punt set up a Bobcat field goal and a bad snap handed the Bobcat a safety, increasing the Battlefield lead to 19-10.
PH would close to 19-17 on a Xavier Whorley 7-yard run with just under five minutes to play, but a final Patriot drive fell short in the final minute.
Prince led the Patrick Henry rushing attack with 106 yards on 20 carries. Whorley added 56 yards on 15 totes. Battlefield was held to 77 yards on the ground by the tough Patriot defense, but Bobcat QB Ryan Swingle picked apart the PH secondary for 193 yards on 14-of-23 passing.
PH is off this week before traveling to GW Danville on October 7th.