Patterson turns back High Point

November 20, 1994|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

From the playing of Jimi Hendrix's psychedelic version of the national anthem to the final play, yesterday's Class 4A state quarterfinal game between top-ranked Patterson and High Point was anything but ordinary.

Playing more than half the game without their top running back, Ryan Lewis, the host Clippers were out-gained in total offense, 371 yards to 188. They had eight fewer first downs than High Point and ran 26 fewer plays.

But Patterson also used the statue of liberty play twice for big gains, recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, blocked a punt and scored three touchdowns in a span of less than three minutes.

And, most importantly, the Clippers won, 25-23.

Top-seeded Patterson (11-0) compensated for the Eagles' advantage in size and a 203-yard rushing performance by High Point's Danny Lewis with its opportunistic play.

HTC The Clippers, led by Carnest Peele (two interceptions and a fumble recovery) and Melvin Braxton (fumble recovery in end zone for a touchdown and an interception), forced six turnovers.

"Our biggest concern was that they were just so massive inside," Patterson coach Roger Wrenn said. "With as many people as we have playing both ways, we knew there was a chance we'd get worn down. But we just did what we had to do."

Said High Point coach Dale Castro: "Anybody who watched this game who knows football knows that we physically beat this team up. They were bruised, battered, and they'll be very sore next week. I think they were very fortunate to come out with a win."

Quarterback Willie McGirt ran for two touchdowns and passed for another for Patterson, which will play host to fourth-seeded North County in the semifinals Saturday.

Lewis, who entered the game with 1,538 yards rushing, is listed as questionable for Saturday after suffering a separated right shoulder with 8:00 remaining in the second quarter.

At that point, however, the Clippers already had built a 19-0 lead on an 84-yard pass from McGirt to Duane Simmons, Braxton's fumble recovery in the end zone and McGirt's 5-yard run.

But eighth-seeded High Point (7-3) of Prince George's County responded with 16 unanswered points -- a 4-yard touchdown run by Danny Lewis and a safety before halftime and Lewis' 5-yard run for a score early in the fourth quarter.

Patterson answered with a 22-yard touchdown run by McGirt to extend its lead to 25-16.

High Point later drove 64 yards in two plays, the latter an 18-yard touchdown pass from Tyrone Tucker to Jayah Lamin to pull within 25-23 with 5:42 left.

The Eagles, who earlier had two drives stall inside Patterson's 4, had two more possessions but each ended with an interception by Peele.

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