Patterson coach Keith Parker had every reason to show apprehension as he watched his squad drop a 52-20 decision to Turlock at Patterson Community Stadium.
“That’s a big, physical football team (Turlock’s) got over there,” Parker said. “Our kids never gave up, but those Titans players were just too big.”
Despite the final score, Parker said he was pleased with the play of Ravens quarterback Damian Paulo.
“He really played phenomenal. He didn’t make one bad decision,” Parker added.
Paulo finished the game with two touchdown passes, connecting with teammate Demario Hammond on both scores.
Daniel Cota added an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to round out Patterson’s scoring.
“We stuck together and never lost our composure,” Parker said. “We can’t get too high or too low after just one game. We have some stuff to clean up at practice.”
After keeping the game close early, the JV Ravens found yards and points hard to come by as Turlock handed Patterson a 47-12 loss.
“We hung close but ended up making some costly mistakes,” Patterson coach Read Weinzheimer said.
Playing from behind, the Ravens scored on their first series of the game, using a 64-yard touchdown scamper from Michael Lawson to pull to 7-6.
But two costly fumbles put Patterson in a hole for good.
“This game was a measure of where we have to be,” Weinzheimer said. “(Turlock) played with a level of intensity that we needed to have.”
It didn’t help matters, either, when Patterson lost quarterback Nicolas Priester to an injury in the third quarter.
Priester had finished a jaunt to the end zone for a touchdown shortly before he left the game with a broken arm. Lawson also was injured late in the contest.
“Our kids hung in there, but Turlock can hit,” Weinzheimer said. “That team doesn’t stop until the whistle is blown.”
The Ravens novice team opened its season with a 19-6 win over Turlock.
“The game started slowly in the first half, but the kids really came alive in the second half,” coach Aaron Lawson said.
The Ravens trailed 6-0 early before their offense and defense stepped up.
“We played our hearts out, kept our heads up and stayed in it,” Lawson said.
Ronan Taylor had a pair of rushing touchdowns for Patterson, and teammate Dave Valverde Jr. added a 40-yard TD run.
“Everyone worked together, and we did what we set out to do,” Lawson said.
Patterson junior novice coach Mel Grisel said his team’s clash against Turlock was “more of a scrimmage” than a game, noting that scores are officially not kept at such a rudimentary level of football.
Still, he acknowledged the play of several of his defensive athletes.
“Our defense played really well,” Grisel said. “We attacked the ball, we tackled well. These kids are young, but they’re smart.”
Zachary Rodriguez, Soja Garcia and Jarod Rosas were named as the Ravens’ standout defenders, according to the coach.
Grisel added that it’s early in the season, and he is still evaluating the team’s talent.
“I want to do a better job of rotating players into the game,” he said. “My job is to get playing time for everyone. I’m still working on that.”