NV's Micha Istre eyes the end zone after he intercepts a Patterson pass.
North Vermilion gets homecoming win
LEROY -- After falling 35-21 to South Beauregard last week, North Vermilion Coach Brett Blakey knew his team needed to get back to its identity for the season: physical running and passing out of necessity.
Friday night against Patterson, the Patriots did that and got some help from their defense, too, as they defeated Patterson on homecoming 52-28.
“We set the tone,” Blakey said. “We were physical in the run game. We felt like we could take it to them, and I felt like our offensive line answered the call tonight.”
North Vermilion (3-3 overall, 1-0 in district) had 363 yards of offense (291 rushing and 72 passing).
The Patriots also intercepted three passes by Patterson quarterback Randy Paul and turned each of them into touchdowns.
With the game tied at 7 after Malik Criner’s 7-yard run with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter, the Patriots quickly regained possession as Micah Istre intercepted Paul on the first offensive play of the Lumberjacks’ ensuing drive.
Istre returned the ball to the Patterson 2-yard line, and one play later, Criner scored from 2 yards out with 4:51 remaining for a 14-7 North Vermilion lead.
The Patriots added a score on their next offensive possession when quarterback Garrett Becker completed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Parker Romero with 57 seconds left in the quarter for a 21-7.
The Patriots added a pick-six by Kendrick Baudoin on the Lumberjacks’ ensuing offensive drive.
Hunter Hulin, who was 7-for-7 on point-after attempts and 1-1 on field goal tries, made his fourth extra point of the night for a 28-7 North Vermilion lead with three seconds left in the first quarter.
The hole was too much for Patterson to overcome.
After Patterson’s Dajon Richard scored on a 2-yard run with 10:38 remaining in the first half, the two teams went scoreless until Hulin connected on a 25-yard field goal to close the first half and give North Vermilion a 31-14 advantage.
Patterson (1-5, 0-1) cut its deficit to 31-21 with 7:12 left after Richard recorded a 54-yard touchdown reception from Paul.
However, North Vermilion added three more touchdowns: a 53-yard run by Becker with 6:53 remaining in the third, a 10-yard run by Criner with 5:37 left in the third quarter and a 17-yard run by Criner with 45 seconds left in the third quarter.
Criner led North Vermilion with 34 carries for 205 yards, and he scored four touchdowns, while Becker had eight carries for 70 yards and one score.
Becker also completed 2 of 5 passes for 72 yards and a score.
Defensively, North Vermilion limited Richard, a University of Texas-San Antonio verbal commit, to 211 yards of offense (117 rushing yards and two scores and 94 yards receiving and a touchdown). Richard’s final touchdown, a 79-yard run, came against North Vermilion’s junior varsity.
Blakey was pleased with his team’s effort stopping the Patterson standout after warning his team about the playmaker’s ability.
“I said, ‘Dajon’s going to make some plays. He’s really good. When we get the opportunity to make stops, we got to make stops,’” Blakey said.