In The Red Zone: Michael Rohr, New High School Football Home

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Game Five: Patrick Henry 40, Douglas Freeman 6

It wasn't supposed to be a blowout. We all knew that.

Douglas Freeman came into their home game against Patrick Henry undefeated, yes, in part due to the benefit of receiving a win when Highland Springs had to forfeit their victory over the Rebels. Nonetheless, they were playing very well, their senior leadership were ready to take the next step, and they knew they had defeated Patrick Henry two of the last three times the Patriots traveled to Three Chopt Road.

The Patriots showed heart and discipline in their Tomato Bowl win, much less discipline but more offensive power in their win over Tucker. What Patriot attributes would show up?

The answers were simple. Execution, finishing the job, taking advantage of the circumstance in front of you, and killer instinct.

The result? A 40-6 Patrick Henry thrashing of Douglas Freeman.

The first 16 minutes decided the game; the final 32 minutes were mandatory to call it a complete game.

Patrick Henry takes the opening kickoff (by Freeman's choice), and scores 1:17 into the game via a six-yard run by new backfield weapon Jamison Kenny. Kenny and Adrian Cavanaugh lined up in the two-back set just behind Brandon Cash in the shotgun, and this offensive variation caught the Rebels by surprise. Cash's 54 yard run during this drive led the way.

Douglas Freeman proceeded to drive down the field in response, all the way to the PH 28. The drive stalled, with Vincent Derricott intercepting a fourth down pass at the four yard line.

The Patriots proceeded to move the ball 96 yards, wrapping up the first quarter with an 11 yard TD pass from Cash to Cavanaugh. The Rebels, once again, retook the ball and marched down the field, only this time they could not get past the Patriot 29.

PH took back the ball and the first of two killer plays took place. Cash threw the shovel pass, successful for a 40 yard gain by Adrian Cavanaugh in the Tomato Bowl, this time to Jamison Kenny, who proceeded to power down the right sideline 71 yards for a Patriot touchdown. 9:21 to go in the 2nd quarter, it's now 21-0, Patriots.

Not to be counted out, Eric Addison returns the ensuing kickoff to near midfield and the Rebels quickly make it to the Patriot 20. Here is where killer play two took place. We saw Monty Smalley in motion to the left, and upon the snap, quarterback Sam Jacobson immediately threw towards Smalley, set up for the flanker screen, when out of nowhere, Will Woodworth raced in front of Smalley, bobbled, then caught the pass, and was gone.

Untouched--79 yards. It's 27-0. Still there was 8:23 left before halftime. The air was suddenly sucked out of William Long Stadium. The game was over, based on what could be seen in the reactions and body language of the Freeman players and fans.

But afterwards, it was a matter of what the final score would be and how the Patriots would continue to tune up their offense, and how the Rebels would respond from the shock.

Brandon Wong returned his second interception for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter, and Adrian Cavanaugh ran for a TD a few minutes later. Freeman did get on the board near the end of the quarter on a 14 yard pass from Carter Slough to Monty Smalley.

And, in a microcosm of the night for Freeman, the extra point hit the upright, and bounced sadly into the end zone.

Patrick Henry hits the halfway mark at 4-1 and with a renewed sense of optimism and of their potential.

NOTES:

--Freeman threw the pigskin 35 times Friday night, with each quarterback throwing two interceptions. Carter Slough led the meager Rebel running game with 41 yards on 12 carries. Monty Smalley still grabbed seven passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.

--Kire Worley played the fourth quarter for Patrick Henry at quarterback, his second straight game where he saw action. He did not attempt a pass but did rush three times for 28 yards. Brandon Cash broke the 100 yard barrier both in passing (133) and on the ground (117). D'vante Derricott missed his second game due to injury.

--Also, credit the defensive line of Patrick Henry for continual pressure on the Freeman quarterback tandem throughout the game!

NEXT UP: The Patriots are home Friday night to face the 1-4 John Marshall Justices, who are 0-2 in the District, but still have several players back from last season's 6-4 squad. Bring your radio to the game; but if you can't make it, join us at 7:05pm for all the action, exclusively on WHAN (1430)!

See ya in Ashland on Friday night!

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