U-S Patriots head into playoffs

(Courtesy photo) Back L-R: Josh Nehl, Brandon Davis, Lane Gill, Josiah Rudloff, Jace Bruce, Isaac Bishop, Nolan Turner, Payton Watt, Jerrett Schloredt, Clayton Louderback, Craig Chandler, Wyatt Gillespie; middle row: Gaven Rowell, Peyton Ewing, Alan Baker, Landon Keever, Jayden Caylor, Jo Bishop, Dawson Butts, Kyle Taylor, Landon Martin; front: Liz Stephens, Gavin Durfee, Tanner Hofland, Dillon Barritt, Braylan Materi, Jess Claycomb, Brayden Bruce, Ethan Mills, Ben Tinsley and Keyle Baker.

 

The Upton-Sundance Patriots wrapped up their regular season Friday night in Pine Bluffs with a heartbreaking loss to the undefeated Hornets.

Despite a Pine Bluffs fumble and both teams turning the ball over on downs, neither team was able to put points on the board in the first quarter.

Pine Bluffs broke the seal at the 11:52 mark in the second when they found 43-web-fbplayoffsthe endzone on a 32-yard pass play.

A few minutes later, the Patriots got on the board after Clayton Louderback ran in from 20 yards out to tie the score at seven.

On the ensuing possession though, the Hornets jumped back out in front with a 72-yard touchdown run, bumping the score to 7-14 at the break.

Things quickly went south for the Patriots as they fumbled early in the third and weren’t able to stop the Hornets from scooping up the ball and taking it to the endzone for their third score at the 11:22 point.

Pine Bluffs kept the pressure on the Pats with a four-yard touchdown run at 4:30 in the third to go up 28-7 as the final quarter approached.

The Patriots closed the gap in the fourth with a 79-yard pass from Louderback to Dawson Butts for their second touchdown, but that would be as close as they could get and the Patriots suffered their second loss of the season, 14-28.

Butts finished the night with 23 rushes for 117 yards, Louderback had 13 for 33, Tanner Hofland had three for one yard.

Louderback had seven completions on 16 attempts with one interception.

Butts hauled in two of those passes for 91 yards and a touchdown, Dillon Barritt had one catch for 21 yards, Payton Watt had one for nine and Jayden Caylor had a pair for six yards.

Jerett Schloredt hit both extra points and averaged just over 31 yards on four punts.

Landon Martin averaged 45 yards on three kickoffs.

Barritt had four returns for a total of 125 yards.

On defense, Caylor finished with seven solo and five assisted tackles; Hofland had four solo and seven assisted; Isaac Bishop had a pair of solo, seven assisted and one tackle for a loss; Butts notched a fumble recovery, three solo and three assisted tackles: Alan Baker had a tackle for a loss, a pair of solo and six assisted tackles; Barritt finished with a pass breakup, a tackle for loss, one solo and three assisted tackles; Braylan Materi was credited with a fumble recovery, two solos and one assisted tackle.

The Patriots (6-2) take on the Rocky Mountain (4-2) this week in Cowley as the playoffs get underway. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday.

Upton-Sundance comes in as the East Conference’s third-ranked team while Rocky Mountain is the number two seed out of the West.

The winner will take on the winner of the Pine Bluffs (8-0) vs. Saratoga (2-6) contest, also on Friday night.