Were you nervous? The Eagles took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown and the Patriots trailed 6-0. On the ensuing possession, QB Collin Guggenheim fumbled and the Eagle offense would eventually score and get the two point conversion and the Patriots trailed 14-0. Were you nervous yet? Three plays later Shane Goins raced around the right end to slice the lead to 14-7, however the Eagles would respond to go up 20-7. How many questions entered your head at this point in the game? How were your nerves? Well, the team certainly was not. The offense then went to work and the defense began to stiffen as the Patriots reeled off four straight touchdowns while the Patriot defense held the Eagles to zero. After a rough start, the Patriots entered the halftime locker room with a 35-20 lead on the backs of the offensive line which opened holes for two Collin Guggenheim TD’s and two Ma’Khi Smith TD’s. Pitching a shutout in the second quarter was equally impressive by the Patriot defense. Donald Clay’s interception was a big turning point in the game, as well, for the Patriots.
The third quarter saw the Patriots only punt of the game after a short drive stalled. The Eagles responded like the championship program they are. The Eagles came into the game with 11 state championships to their credit and were determined to play for a 12th. They were able to score to cut the lead to 35-28. The Patriot offense would strike back quickly, though, when Guggenheim found Joel Taylor for a 52 yard TD pass to increase the lead to 42-28. Another big turning point happened on the kickoff. Austin McCready placed a kick precisely between Eagle returners and a Patriot would pounce on the loose ball giving the Patriots outstanding field position. Three plays later Guggenheim found the endzone again for a 49-28 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriot offense was able to use some clock and drain it down with a methodical drive that culminated with another Guggenheim touchdown that was the icing on the Patriots’ cake. The lead was now 56-28 near the end of the fourth quarter. The Eagles did score one more time to close the score to 56-34 after an unsuccessful two point attempt. The Patriots were able to recover the onside kick and run the clock out to end the game and send the Patriots into the Division I state title game.
The Patriots will face the Catholic High School Bears from Baton Rouge on Saturday, December 8th at noon. The game is an exact rematch of last season’s Division I title game on the same day at the same time. Tickets will be on sale at school starting next Monday. Be on the lookout for more information on that.