Photo: Kim McCaffrey/recruit804
Can Patrick Henry keep their hot streak going?
by John Harvey, recruit757
Patrick Henry (3-0) at Henrico (2-1) Friday 7:00 p.m.
Two teams with back-to-back victories will square off Friday night as Henrico High School hosts Patrick Henry of Ashland in the Capital District opener for both teams.
The Warriors (2-1) rebounded from a loss to Hermitage in the season opener with a pair of impressive wins at Deep Run (42-24) and at home against an improved J.R. Tucker (41-14) team to remain a team to watch in Class 5.
“We’re excited to play another undefeated team,” said Henrico coach Glen Glasco. “Each game, we’ve played this year is getting us better. I expect everyone to play well.”
After losing key playmakers on both sides of the ball to private schools, the Warriors haven’t wilted and continue to compete with maximum worth ethic and high-end talent.
Running back Tyrelle Ellison has set the tone offensive as a prime-time perform with 360 yards and four touchdowns in three games. The senior has averaged 120 yard a game and 6.7 yards a game and ranks 10th among ball carriers in the greater Richmond area.
Christian Quigley has also been a nice change-of-pace back in the backfield. The senior has rushed for 165 yards and has averaged 14 yards a carry in limited duty.
Henrico is far from one dimensional thanks to the play of team leader quarterback Lawrence “Theo” Chambers. The senior is the second-rated passer in the Central Region with 620 passing and five touchdown passes. He also has averaged 11 yards a carry and rushed for 201 yards this season.
Jahad Carter is a weapon on the outside for the Warriors. The junior wideout has 18 receptions for 283 yards and ranks third in the Richmond-area among receivers. A standout defensively, Carter has offers from Virginia Tech and Temple and high interest from Wake Forest.
Senior wideout Rodney Booker has nine receptions for 145 yards and can also change a game with his athleticism.
Patrick Henry coach Keith Braxton is impressed with what he’s seen on film.
“They are explosive on offense for sure,” Braxton said. “They have the ability to hit big plays and those can be demoralizing. We must eliminate those to give ourselves a chance. They do a great job in the run game as well. Their line is physical and athletic and they do a good job hanging on to their blocks.”
Defensively, Jaekwon Reeves is the team’s big-play threat. The senior linebacker averages 11 tackles a game and has a knack for being around the football. Junior defensive lineman Lamar Teal is the top pass-rusher with five sacks. Jaeln Adkins and Carter are game-changers in the secondary.
Braxton knows his team will have their work cut out for them.
“They are big and fast and that is always a concern,” Braxton said. “They do what they do and they execute well. The challenge for us will be to match their execution and to match their intensity level. Henrico is always a tough place to play and it won’t be any different this time around.”
Patrick Henry (3-0) is brimming with confidence under their new coach. The Patriots have averaged 37 points a game, despite starting the season with a sophomore quarterback that had never taken a varsity snap.
Alex Sikkar has thrown five touchdown passes and run for 170 yards and two more in three games this season. The sophomore threw for a pair of touchdowns and galloped 60 yards for another score to lead Patrick Henry to 30-27 win over Deep Run. Veteran quarterback Hunter Hart has missed the first three games with an illness and his status is uncertain for Friday night.
Terrance Oxendine and Samadre Williams are game-changers in the backfield in Braxton’s wildcat formation.
Oxendine has rushed for 267 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the team. He has the ability to score from anywhere on the field and has already hauled in a 99-yard touchdown pass from
Sikkar. Williams has rushed for 210 yards and has averaged 5.4 yards a game for the Patriots.
In the passing game, Jamel Jackson and Devyn Coles are the primary weapons on the outside. The duo have great speed and have the ability to turn short games into long ones.
Braxton said the key to the team’s success starts up front. “We must be able to establish a presence at the line of scrimmage,” he said. We have to be able to run the ball and can’t have turnovers. We have to convert on third downs and score every time we get in the red zone.
Defensively, the Patriots are led by a strong secondary. Chase Allen has a team-high three interceptions and is the leader of the unit. Jackson has two interceptions in three games and Allen has already returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Patrick Henry won last year’s match, 7-6, in a defensive struggle. Braxton said the team must eliminate big plays, stop the run and force turnovers.
Braxton expects his team to be up for the challenge.
“This is the first game of district play,” Braxton said. “This becomes the first chance or someone to advance toward the title or be put behind the eight-ball, so to speak. Last year’s game was a hard fought win and those are the games that stick with you. There is no doubt in my mind that they remember that and will everything in their power to come out on top.”
– John Harvey