Game of the Week presented by Extreme Escape Games
By CAMDEN JOINER
The Page Patriots spoiled the Battle Ground Academy Wildcats’ Homecoming Friday, on the same night the school celebrated the 50th anniversary of its 1966 state championship team.
Behind freshman running back Bubba Johnson and junior quarterback Jacob Van Landingham, Page (3-2) rushed for 269 yards and six touchdowns to secure a 45-7 win.
“They gave us some of the stuff we got,” Patriot head coach Charles Rathbone said. “But our defense was in position to make plays. We wanted to control the ball. They are so explosive, they have speed on the edges, and a good quarterback. We felt like our advantage was the front-seven and our offensive line, and those guys answered the bell. They did a good job.”
The Patriots won the game by conquering the trenches. The offensive line towered over BGA’s defensive front, and Page was able to run the ball with ease.
“Sometimes we were pushing them three or four yards off the line of scrimmage and our running back wasn’t touched until he got to the linebackers,” Rathbone said. “Everybody sees big carry numbers and pats the running backs on the back, and they should, but our offensive line played lights out tonight.”
Van Landingham ran for 79 yards and two touchdowns, including one 30-yard run to put the Patriots up 17 points.
Derek Bittner and Aidan Condo each scored additional rushing touchdowns, but Johnson carried most of the workload for the Patriots. He rushed 26 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
“I knew that I was going to scramble and I feel comfortable doing that,” Van Landingham said. “They played a good defense that was very hard to read. BGA’s defense has a good line so I thought our O-line would have a bit of a struggle. But they really stepped up and played well.”
Tennessee commit Brent Cimaglia scored the first points of the evening on a 35-yard field goal, but BGA could not keep Page’s offense out of the end zone for the rest of the game.
The Patriots defense held BGA to 206 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers. The Wildcats’ offense was often stymied by penalties, drawing 13 flags for 90 yards.
BGA’s offensive unit failed to put drives together and move the chains, earning just eleven first downs, compared to Page’s 25.
The Wildcats only score came on a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Martin to receiver Oliver Reese.