By Doug Dyer, for the Williamson Herald
Photos by Kevin Harvey
Given the up and down flow of Page’s football season so far, having a week when things go mostly according to plan would be a welcome sight for the Patriots.
Coach Charles Rathbone and his players got just that Thursday night, playing consistent on both sides of the ball and earning a 41-6 home victory over Fayetteville.
“It definitely helps our confidence,” junior receiver Corey Bonn said. “Morale’s been a little rough here and there, but we’ve got some leaders stepping up out of nowhere.”
The game was the return to Page for former coach Alvin Palmer, who is the head coach of the Tigers, a first-year varsity program. His Tigers (3-4) could not negotiate the Page defense for the first three quarters, and they were held to just 151 yards for the game.
“Our defense held them and played well, and I’m very proud of them for that,” Rathbone said.
The offense for Page (3-4) was not in its top form, but quarterback Zac Mizell took advantage of the Fayetteville secondary to spread the ball around to six different receivers.
Mizell finished 12-of-22 passing for 233 yards and four touchdowns to four different receivers, and just one interception.
“It’s definitely fun when all the receivers get involved,” Bonn said. “We’re all friends, so we hang out on the sidelines and joke around about who’s catching what. With the four starters catching touchdowns, that was nice.”
“That’s why we do what we do,” Rathbone said. “We want to get everyone involved, and that makes us harder to stop.”
The Patriots had lost three of their last four, but those losses came against teams with a combined record of 16-5, including unbeaten Christ Presbyterian Academy (7-0). The competition has been tough, but Page is better for it.
“It’s not an easy road, but it makes us better,” Rathbone said.
It took a bit to get things going, but Page got on the scoreboard first after taking advantage of a special teams miscue by the Tigers.
A punt snap went over Gus Palacio’s head and he was brought down at the Fayetteville 30, setting up Mizell’s first TD toss, a 12-yarder to Mason Smith to make it 7-0 Pats with 3:20 left in the first.
Trevor Johnson, Bonn and Matt Fornero also caught TDs from Mizell in the first half, and the only points for the Tigers came on a busted coverage when QB Trevonte Emmons found Darren Patterson on a seam route for 78 yards and a touchdown midway through the second quarter. The Pats led 28-6 at intermission.
Penalties were Page’s biggest enemy Thursday night, as it amassed 90 yards on 10 infractions. Multiple illegal blocking penalties negated good kick returns and big offensive gains, but Rathbone said those things will be corrected.
“We’ve just got to overcome those things,” he said. “But those are all things we can correct and get better at.”
Page scored two times in the second half, on a 40-yard TD run from Michael Roberts and backup QB Michael Magochy finding the end zone on a 5-yard run.
“I was most proud we were able to run the ball in the second half,” Rathbone said. “We were able to finish some runs, and I’m proud of Michael Roberts for that.”
The Pats travel next to face 6-1 Cascade, which had an open date this week. The Champions have won two straight since falling to Giles County on Sept. 20.
Posted on: 10/11/2013