By Chuck Reherman’, Sports Editor – It was a slower start that Southwest Covenant is used to, but the Patriots got back on the winning track Friday night.
SWCS used four touchdown passes from Sam Webb to post a 41-14 win over Empire on homecoming night at Patriot Field.
The Patriots, 4-1, started fast in their first three games, but had only one touchdown on the board after the first quarter Friday night. SWCS led 19-0 at halftime, then put 22 points on the board in the third to put the game away.
“We played pretty well,” Patriot head coach Trey Cloud said. “We got off to a slow start offensively, but picked it up. The defense played well all night.
“Empire had a good bunch,” he added. “They played 11-man football last year and had several kids returning. And, they came in having three wins which is more than they have had in a while and were ready to play.”
Leading 19-0 at the start of the second half, the Patriots got things rolling from both sides of the ball. SWCS put together an opening drive in the third quarter and Webb tossed a two-yard scoring pass to Trevor Kelly. Kelly ran in the conversion to open a 27-0 lead.
The Patriots pinned Empire back in their own territory and on fourth down, blocked a punt. P.J. Riggs picked up the ball and returned it five yards for the touchdown and a 34-0 lead.
Empire got on the board on a five-yard Rowdy Swanson pass to Devin Miller to cut the lead to 34-6.
Kelly returned the ensuing kickoff 75-yards for a touchdown and a 41-6 lead.
Webb, who completed only five of 11 passes for 166 yards, had 79 on one play. Backed at their own one, Webb tossed a pass to Cole Shaw, who broke past the defense and scored on a 79-yard play.
Nathan Hagan scored on a 22-yard, then a nine-yard pass from Webb in the second quarter to open a 19-0 lead at the intermission.
The Patriots will open district slate on Friday, on the road to Mountain View, Gotebo. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.