Fans in the stands Friday night at Dwight Bogle Stadium were scrambling for a comfy bleacher seat, warm coat and a cup of hot chocolate.
On the field, Cave Spring found itself trying to find a way to stop a sizzling Patrick Henry offense.
Having little difficulty with the first decidedly chilly high school football night of the season, Patrick Henry rolled out to a 35-7 halftime lead and never looked back on their way to the 42-7 River Ridge District win.
The win ended a two game skid for the Patriots while earning their first River Ridge victory in four tries. PH improved to 5-3 on the season with a trip to Christiansburg next Friday night. Cave Spring dropped to 1-6 with a trip to Salem on the horizon next Friday.
Cave Spring got off to a good start when senior strong safety Lucas Duncan intercepted a Patriot pass to stop the opening drive of the game by PH. The Knights drove into Patrick Henry territory before they stalled and punted.
Patrick Henry, facing third and long at their own 33, looked to be stopped before junior quarterback Roy Gunn scrambled out of a collapsing pocket and fired a 67-yard touchdown strike to sophomore wide receiver Taeshaun Webb that put the Patriots up 7-0 with 3:04 to go in the first quarter after George Langhammer’s first of six PATs.
Less than two minutes later Patrick Henry was in business again after an interception set the Patriots up at the Cave Spring 25. Three plays later senior running back Jalen Cook took the ball 18 yards up the middle for a score to make it 14-0.
Midway through the second quarter, an interception by Cook and personal foul on the Knights had PH starting on the Knights’ 19-yard-line. The Patriots fumbled on an ensuing running play, but junior Jamarreon Jones scooped up the loose ball for another Patrick Henry score to run the score to 21-0 with 6:35 left in the second quarter.
After a Knight three-and-out Patrick Henry got on the scoreboard again when Gunn hooked up with Cook on a 55-yard pass that pushed the PH lead to 28-0 with 4:48 left in the second.
Thirteen seconds later, Duncan stirred the Cave Spring faithful when he took the ensuing kickoff and raced 87 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown that cut the PH lead to 28-7 after junior Tyler Mitchem’s conversion.
But, Patrick Henry answered with 1:58 left in the half on Cook’s 5-yard touchdown run for his third score that sent the teams to the locker room with the Patriots in control 35-7.
PH went up 42-7 in the third when Gunn hit junior Trace Pedigo for a 7-yard touchdown which proved to be the last score of the evening as the continuous running clock took over with the 35-point lead.
Gunn was the difference for the Patrick Henry offense, throwing for 223 yards and tacking on over 40 yards on keepers to go along with the dual threat of Cook. Duncan was the workhorse for Cave Spring, rushing for a hard-earned 91 yards against the huge Patriot defensive front.