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Reza’s homecoming spoiled as Pride fall to Tigers
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Pitman quarterback Evan Kiely searches for an opening during the game Friday evening against Patterson (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Pitman High Head Coach Eric Reza faced off against his former team as the Pride took on the Patterson High Tigers at Joe Debely Stadium on Friday. Reza’s homecoming was bittersweet though as the Pride fell to the Tigers, 55-16.

Even though the loss hurt, Reza said he was still happy to play against his former team.

“It means a lot to play against them. I was there a long time and I know a lot of them, it was good to see them,” he said.

The Pride had a difficult time stopping the Tiger’s high-powered offense. Patterson took a 48-7 lead into half-time and were led by quarterback Jacob Guevarra and running back Sean Hansen. Hanson had 131 rushing yards in the first half, while Guevarra had 197 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.

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The Pride's defense stops Patterson from moving down the field during the game Friday (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

The first score of the game came as a result of a 16-yard touchdown pass from the Tigers. Patterson scored two touchdowns in their next three drives to take a 20-0 lead. The Pride got on the board with a 13-yard pass from quarterback Evan Kiely to running back Joey Stout.

From that point on the Tigers took complete control and scored 28 unanswered points. The half ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass by Patterson with 30 seconds left until half time.

Reza’s message to his team was to keep competing and not to focus on what happened during the first half.

“I told them don’t quit. It’s zero, zero and don’t look at the scoreboard. Just come out here and play hard, that’s all I want,” said Reza.

While the Tigers did score a touchdown on their first possession, they were shut out the rest of the second half. Backup quarterback Drew Walker played most of the second half under center and threw a 55-yard touchdown to Stout for the Pride’s second touchdown of the game.

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Joey Stout pushes forward to gain yards for the Pride (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Pitman’s defense stepped up as well as they forced two fumbles and held Guevarra to no touchdowns. The final points of the game were scored by the Pride with a 30-yard field goal by Kiely in the fourth quarter.

Reza credits Patterson for having a solid team and doesn’t believe there needs to be too many adjustments on defense.

“We’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They’re a good, strong football team. There’s not a lot of stuff we need to do, we don’t need to make a lot of changes, we just have to go back to the basics,” he said.

The Pride’s offense was led by Stout, who had 127 all-purpose yards and scored both touchdowns. Kiely added 81 yards through the air and one passing touchdown.

Next Friday, the Pride will travel to Golden Valley High School in Merced for their third non-league game at 7 p.m.