Week 1 RNK Game

Week 1 RNK Game 150 150 SWVA High School Sports

Patrick Henry’s defense stands tall in Patriot’s 14-6 win over Hidden Valley in opener

Patrick Henry HS, Roanoke, VA – Hidden Valley and Patrick Henry squared off on a Monday night no less, at Merle Gainer field in a close, hard fought battle. The Patriots, with some great defense, eeked out the 14-6 win over the Titans. First games of any season are always a challenge, but this years opener was that, times ten. Without a preseason to speak of, local teams hit the field this week not knowing much about what they were showing up with. Sure, there would be some some starters coming back but for the most part so many things have changed that this Spring pandemic season is a roll of the dice. But as they say, when one door closes another opens. Patrick Henry Coach Fiddler recognized the challenges but may have found an additional weapon in is his backfield, “No scrimmages, short camp, really didn’t know what we were going to get. Tried to rely on our older kids. A younger one came through for us.

Hidden Valley LB/HB 15 Ashton Carroll brings down Patrick Henry RB 6 Elijah Davis

First Quarter
The first quarter was a topsy-turvy start with both teams turning the ball over. PH took the opening kick and proceeded to drive the ball deep into Titan territory. The Pats moved the ball on the running of QB 3 Roy Gunn and RB 6 Elijah Davis early on. Gunn also was effective through the air.

Patriot WR 4 Tashawn Webb goes up high for a catch

But the Hidden Valley defense brought that first promising drive to a halt when they held PH on downs at their own thirty-seven. QB 3 was brought down just short of the mark. HV gave it right back with a quick three and out. Patrick Henry drove the ball again. This time the pats made it to the Titan fourteen before DB 7 Joey Strong got the ball back on an interception.

HV Sophomore DB 7 Joey Strong makes a return after he intercepts a pass

The Sophomore picked off QB 3 Gunn near the five, but a good INT return was brought back to the seven on a holding penalty. Hidden Valley gave it right back on an interception of their own. DB 9 Body Kahoun snagged QB 16 Dragovich’s pass at the 5:45 mark to put the Pats back in business at the Titan twenty four. Three plays later, RB 6 Elijah Davis was stripped of the ball by Senior veteran DB 20 Matt Strong on the Titan ten. Back and forth the game went. The first quarter ended 0-0.

Titan QB 16 Sam Dragovich makes a pass while being protected by OL 78 Jay Phelps

Second Quarter
That scoreless tie didn’t last long. QB 3 Gunn found WR/LB 5 Gavin McCormick on a 12-yard TD pass. The extra point was low and subsequently blocked. PH led 6-0 at the 11:52 mark.

Patrick Henry WR/LB 5 Gavin McCormick runs it in for six after the catch

It looked as though HV may dent the scoreboard on their next drive. RB 20 Matt Strong carried the mail for the Titans on this drive and most of the night. QB 16 Dragovich completed two passes on the drive, but the quarterback would give it back to PH. The Junior coughed it up on the fourteen.
The next time Hidden Valley got the ball, they went back to work. QB 16 Dragovich found HB 15 Ashton Carroll on a couple tosses for 13 and 9 yards to get it down to the Patriot thirty two.

Titan HB/LB 15 Ashton Carroll barrels down the sideline Tuesday night

Five plays later, on fourth down and ten at the thirty, QB 16 Dragovich made a nifty scramble, where he reversed is roll out left back to the middle of the field. The QB found WB 14 Tyler McDaniel in the back of the endzone.

Hidden Valley WR 14 Tyler McDaniel hauls in a 30-yard TD catch in tight defense

McDaniel was well defended but the tall, 6’4 receiver hauled it in. Following the play, offsetting unsportsmanlike penalties were called and marked off before the extra point was kicked. Normally these two penalties offset, but since it was in the PH end of the field, HV ‘s penalty was walked off from the three out fifteen yards. Contrary to that, PH’s penalty was stepped off as half the distance to the goal since it was inside the twenty. That made a punch extra point, now a 25-yard boot. HV kicker 8 Brody Layman kick just missed right and the game stayed tied at 6-6. That’s the way the half ended.

Third Quarter
The start of the second half was all Hidden Valley. The Titans took the opening drive and made it to the Patriot nine before being turned away on downs. The Titan defense did their part too. PH moved the ball out to the sixteen but stalled. After a short 17 yard punt,
Hidden Valley came right back down the field on the running of RB 20 Strong and Sophomore RB 10 Jadon LaTempa. Again the PH defense stiffened at the three, turning the Titans away on a incomplete pass on fourth down.

Patrick Henry’s defense, led by LB 5 Gavin McCormick, came up with the big stops in the third quarter. Titan FB 32 Steven Robertson looks for running room.

Fourth Quarter
In the final quarter, PH finally took the lead on a QB 3 Gunn run from a yard out with 5:18 left in the game. PH drove the ball sixty yards to position themselves for the go ahead score.

Patrick Henry QB 3 Roy Gunn looks to throw or run

PH went for two and Gunn kept it himself to make it 14-6. Hidden Valley made one more run at the end zone on their last drive of the night. The Titans used fourteen plays and made it to the Patriots thirteen, but again a fourth down incompletion ended their hopes. Credit PH’s defense. Their D-backs made the plays when they needed to. Patrick Henry ran out the clock for the 14-6 win. Hidden Valley Coach Weaver spoke about missed opportunities after the game, but he gave the Patriots credit. Coach Weaver simplified it for his team. “We told our kids before the game and at halftime. The team who was going to win was going to give more effort and make the big plays. (Tonight) It was really two big plays. We were down inside the two yard line on two different drives. With our size, our line, and our backs you got to do it. We could have put this game away in the third quarter and we didn’t. PH is well coached and they made plays when they needed to.”

It’s a shame we had to play them right out of the gate without the preparation. My hats off to them. They play hard. They are tough kids. As well as we did tonight and moved the ball, they proved to be the tougher team tonight.
In a football schedule never seen or tried before, Virginia high schools are continuing to push the limits of achieving a six game season in a few weeks. Brookville (1-0) will play Liberty-Bedford (0-1) next Friday. LCA (0-1) returns home to take on Jefferson Forest (1-0).  

Offense: RushingPatrick Henry– Davis 18-83, A Webb 7-26, Gunn 10-22, TD, 2ptr, Medley 2-5 Hidden Valley– Strong 18-80, LaTempa 13-72, Dragovich 8-16 PassingPatrick Henry– Gunn 20/34, 216, TD, INT  Hidden Valley– Dragovich 15/24, 111, TD, INT  ReceivingPatrick Henry– Pedigo 6-48, A Webb 4-33, T Webb 3-41, Taylor 2-60, Medley 2-21, Davis 2-1, McCormick 1-12, TD  Hidden Valley– Carroll 4-41, McDaniel 3-52, TD, Strong 3-7, Robertson 2-3, Pardon 1-10, Simmons 1-5, LaTempa 1-(-7), PuntingPatrick Henry– Medley 2-36.5  Hidden Valley Dragovich 2-39.5


  • PH: Gunn to McCormick 12-yd TD pass; Morrill PAT blocked
  • HV: Dragovich to McDaniel 30-yd TD pass; Layman PAT
  • PH: Gunn 1-yd TD run; Gunn 3-yd run on 2 point conversion

           – Cap’n Crunch & The Machine 

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