Jance Miller pulls down a Beau Chene runner.
Darian Duhon (44) takes a handoff and heads up field for NVHS.
North Vermilion too much for Beau Chene
Special to the Meridional
After being on the road for the past two years, the Beau Chene Gators returned to the “swamp” with lots of pre-game energy and an excited fan base. The celebration, however, didn’t last long as the North Vermilion Patriots used a dominating run game and a stifling defense to put the game away early and took the season opener for both teams, 47-14.
The win marked the first victory for the Patriots under new head coach Brett Blakey and put the Patriots at 1-0 to start the season.
“It’s exciting to get this first win,” said Blakey, “Our kids came out and established control of the game early, and we were able to put them away by halftime. We had a few mistakes early with some penalties that we will need to clean up, but all in all, it’s a great team win to start the season.”
After a three and out defensive effort to start the game, the Patriot offense took their first drive of the season to the end zone despite penalties on three of their first five plays. Malik Criner carried the load on the drive with picking up over 30 yards on three carries in the drive as well as catching a screen pass from quarterback Garrett Backer that went for 11 yards. Becker finished off the drive with a 15-yard scamper around right end with 7:00 in the first quarter. Hunter Hulin added the first of a few PAT’s for the 7-0 lead.
A smothering defense led by Jace and Jance Miller along with Jaden Martinez on the front line stifled Beau Chene who lost 20 yards on their second drive.
Criner finished off the second Patriot drive with a 7-yard TD run. Criner added the third score from seven yards out as well. The big play in the drive was a 4th down pass conversion from Becker to Darius Gilliam for 12 yards.
After the defense continued to dominate, the Patriots sacked the punter and took over on the four-yard line where Darian Duhon scored the first of two four-yard touchdowns for him.
Criner added a 67-yard touchdown on a draw play to cap off the 40 point first half effort for North Vermilion.
Criner ended his evening in the second quarter, as did the entire Patriot first unit, with 154 yards on 13 carries and three scores. The Patriots ended up with 213 yards rushing and 22 yards passing in the first half.
Defensively the first half dominance held Beau Chene to minus 26 yards rushing and a one for eight passing performance.
The Gators did manage two scores in the second half with their starters going deep into the fourth period against many of the Patriot reserves.
Devin Martinez finished off the scoring for the Patriots with a 16-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
“We did a lot of things well and controlled both sides of the line of scrimmage. We now go back and watch film and see where we can improve and get ready for Franklin next Friday,” added Blakey.
North Vermilion is set for their home opener next Friday as they take on the Franklin Hornets at Patriot Stadium. The Hornets are coming off a 28-14 season-opening loss to Patterson, a District 8-AAA foe for the Patriots.