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By Ryan Butler
Playing football for Chiefland High School requires a commitment to play on all sides of the ball. The way Shaquille Patterson played last Friday, CHS is glad its players do.
Patterson, the Indians quarterback and cornerback, accounted for four touchdowns in his team’s 31-7 home win over West Nassau. The senior ran for two scores, threw a touchdown pass to Deshawn Roland and returned an interception for another score. His excellent individual performance highlighted another strong team game for the 5-0 Indians.
“(Patterson) is starting to get comfortable in his positions,” said Chiefland head coach Aaron Richardson. “He’s playing really well right now. He has a lot of room to improve and he’s going to keep getting better.”
Chiefland now heads to its byeweek, giving the team extra time before its Oct. 11 game at Trenton in a match-up of two of the top teams in the area.
The Indians never trailed in the game against West Nassau, scoring a first-quarter touchdown and keeping pace with a talented Warriors team. Though the game was close until the second half, the Indians were able to separate themselves offensively and defensively and pull away.
ÅgAt times we struggled, had some miscues we need to fix and exposed some weaknesses, which is good, these are things that we need to get straightened out,Åh Richardson said. ÅgBut at times we dominated a really good football team. ItÅfs been a great week for us.Åh
Neither team could get much done offensively to start the second half until ChieflandÅfs T.J. Donald made a huge defensive play in the third quarter. With his team holding a 14-7 lead, Donald read a pass from WarriorÅfs quarterback Reagen Wright and intercepted him at the WarriorsÅf 29 yard line. Richardson said that personal adjustments at half time proved key in ChieflandÅfs ability to take away West NassauÅfs passing game.
The Indians then drove inside the one-yard line before Patterson stepped through the middle of his offensive line for a short touchdown, his second rushing score of the game. An extra point by Jesus Hernandez put Chiefland up 21-7 seconds before the fourth quarter.
Patterson later returned another interception in the fourth quarter for the game-clinching touchdown. The huge defensive play and successive extra point put Chiefland up 28-7 with just under five minutes left in the game, all but securing the IndianÅfs fifth win in five opportunities.
Donald picked off another pass from Wright on his very next throw, putting the metaphorical cherry on top of the big win. Hernandez added a 39-yard field goal, netting the final points on the 31-7 win.
A series of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties then bogged down the remaining minutes of the game. While a clearly frustrated West Nassau squad featuring 27 seniors was drawing penalties, the Indians maintained their composure.
West Nassau, a 4A school, would switch formations offensively between possessions and sometimes between plays, ranging from an option look to a shotgun spread. It frustrated the Indians defense at times, but CHS was, for the most part, able to slow down the Warriors attack.
Running out of an option formation, Wright broke a long second-quarter run deep into Chiefland territory, a rare break in the solid CHS run defense. The Warriors continued the drive deep into CHS territory, converting a fourth down along the way. But facing a fourth and goal later in the drive, Chiefland defensive end Payton Parnell pursued Wright on a designed roll out, tripping the quarterback who threw an awkward pass Patterson easily picked off at the goal line.
The Warriors only score would come later in the quarter. Wright started the drive by hitting Tyler Woodley with a long pass into the Chiefland red zone. A few plays later he drilled Darrian Wright with a pass into the end zone, which, following the extra point, cut ChieflandÅfs lead to 14-7 shortly before half time.
Chiefland executed two long scoring drives in the first half. Another game of a ground-based attack featuring Alphonso Timmons powerful running, RollandÅfs lightning-quick speed and PattersonÅfs increasing mastery of the offense proved too much for the Warriors.
The second scoring drive ended on a fourth-down pass play inside the red zone. Patterson rolled right, spun to his left and lofted a beautiful pass to Rolland in the corner of the end zone, giving Chiefland a 14-0 lead with 7:53 left in the first half.
Chiefland's first scoring drive started early in the first quarter, ending with Patterson's quarterback sneak and the Indians up 7-0.