Patrick Henry juniors T.J. Rhamy and Will Morrow combined for 295 yards rushing as the Patriots rolled over Bryan 28-13 on a wet, muddy field on Homecoming Night Friday at Golden Bears Stadium.
“Bottom line is we got out-physicalled up front,” Bryan coach Grant Redhead said. “They pushed us around on the offensive line and the defensive line. The conditions didn’t help at all, but I can’t blame a loss on that. The biggest thing is that they were more physical. You never like to lose and when you kind of get run over, it’s tough.”
Bryan (6-2, 4-1 Northwest Ohio Athletic League) opened up the scoring at 7:11 in the first quarter on its first possession of the game. Quarterback Nate Miller ran a touchdown in from 14-yards out to put the Golden Bears up 7-0.
After forcing PH to punt, Bryan got stuck near the goal line and on 4th-and-9 from the 4-yard-line, a long snap went over punter Adam Fireovid’s head and through the end zone for a safety.
The Patriots (5-3, 5-0 NWOAL) scored on their next possession when Morrow ran the ball in from 19 yards out to take an 8-7 lead after a missed extra point.
Morrow would run another touchdown in at 5:28 to play in the second quarter from one-yard out to give PH a 14-7 lead going into halftime after another missed extra point.
The Patriots added onto their lead late in the third quarter when Rhamy scampered 44 yards for a touchdown, taking a 22-7 lead after he also ran in a 2-point conversion.
Bryan immediately took to the air and drove the ball down inside the Patriot 20, scoring on 4th-and-13 from the 17-yard line when Miller found sophomore wideout Titus Rohrer in the back of the end zone for a diving touchdown catch to cut PH’s lead 22-13 after a missed extra point.
The Patriots used the next six minutes to drive 65 yards to put the game out of reach when Rhamy ran in his second touchdown of the game from four yards out to give PH a 28-13 lead where the game would end.
Rhamy ended the game with 171 yards rushing on 26 attempts and two scores, while Morrow added 124 yards rushing on 20 attempts and PH’s other two touchdowns.
Patrick Henry started the season 0-3, but has been cruising through conference play since.
“I have never started out 0-3 and won five games in a row,” Patriot coach Bill Inselmann said. “All the credit goes to these kids. They just don’t quit. I wish I could tell you that it’s coaching, but it isn’t. Some teams have it and some teams don’t and right now it’s unbelievable the expectations and confidence these kids are playing with.”
Bryan needed a win over PH to stay in the hunt for an NWOAL title and perhaps a playoff berth.
Friday’s loss staggers the Bears’ playoff hopes as they came into the game ranked No. 7 in Division IV, Region 14 with the top eight qualifying for the post season.
Now with Friday’s loss to the Patriots, Bryan needs to beat undefeated Liberty Center next week and Evergreen in Week 10. LC needs to beat PH in Week 10 in order for Bryan to win a three-way share of the conference title.
“It’s going to be tough,” Redhead said. “There’s a bunch of what ifs now and I don’t like what ifs. We had our chance and didn’t get it done.”
Miller led the Bears with 234 yards passing on 15-for-23 and a touchdown. Rohrer led all Bryan receivers with four catches for 89 yards and a touchdown, while Brycen Andrews caught six balls for 78 yards.