In a game that went up and down the field like a track meet, Patrick Henry made the most of the opportunity while Evergreen couldn’t finish four drives inside the Patriot 25 as PH took a 48-22 decision at Pifer Field Friday night.
Donny Johnson gave an indication of what was to come as he got loose around the right side on the first play from scrimmage for a 56 yard touchdown run that gave PH an 8-0 advantage 14 seconds into the game.
It took the Vikings just 33 seconds to respond as Nick Etue hit Josh Laux for 22, ran around the right side for 14, and hit Dylan Komisarek for a 21 yard strike as Evergreen knotted the score back up at 8-8.
Mitch Bonner’s 32 yard run set up Jarrett Maas’ 10 yard TD pass to Trey Zimmer that put the Patriots ahead 14-8, but Etue carried the Vikings deep into PH territory, hitting Laux three more times and picking up a first down on a 13 yard run.
However, on a second down play from the 22, Etue’s ill advised pass into tight coverage was picked off in the end zone by Logan Wyss to end the scoring chance.
Johnson struck again the first play in the second by going 50 yards for a score to put Patrick Henry ahead 20-8, but the Vikings again answered.
Levi Carson picked up a first down on the ground and Laux got two more on catches of 13 and 29 before on a fourth and goal, Etue found Chandler Lumbrezer just inside the end zone from 9 yards out to slice the Patriot lead to 20-14.
Peyton Pawlaczyk’s interception of a Maas pass set the Vikings up at their own 39, where they again drove deep into Patriot territory, and again keyed by another big reception by Laux, this one covering 25 yards.
However, the drive fizzled at the 20 when Etue’s pass went over the head of an open Viking receiver.
From there, Johnson again responded with yet another lightning like score, going 70 yards to put PH up 28-14 with 2:35 left in the half.
Evergreen again set sail into the Patriot end of the field as Carson went 20 yards on a screen pass and Etue hit Tyler Noe for 28 more to get to the 17.
Laux’ catch got the ball to the 10 but on fourth-and-2, Etue’s pass fell incomplete as the Vikings were denied for the third time in the half deep on Patrick Henry’s end of the field.
Maas’ 15 yard pass to a wide open Tristan Novak on a fourth down play at 6:12 of the third opened the lead to 34-14, and Brad Pfister’s 6 yard run just into the fourth quarter made it a 42-14 score.
The Patriots burned the Vikings later in the quarter when on a fourth down fake punt, Bonner went 70 yards up the middle.
Etue brought the Vikings back two more times, scoring on an 8 yard pass to Komisarek, then getting to the Patrick Henry 25 one more time.
This time though, it was Alex VanDeBussche snuffing out the Viking drive with a pick on a third down play to end the fourth Viking chance deep on the PH side.
Johnson gained 232 yards on 18 carries to pace PH’s 392 on the ground and 570 total yards.
The Vikings picked up 391, including 303 in the air on 25 of 44 from Etue. The senior quarterback was 25 of 44 for three touchdowns but had three interceptions. Laux caught 11 passes for 139 of those yards.
The Vikes are now 4-4 and play host to Wauseon this Friday.
Joe Blystone can be reached at email@example.com