Patrick County's defense came to play Friday night, but mistakes and missed opportunities on both sides of the ball did them in in a 13-12 loss to Floyd County in Stuart.
The Cougars started the game on the right foot, forcing a Floyd County fumble on the Buffaloes' first possession, to take over on the 38-yard line. After 10 plays, quarterback Will Sprowl ran into the endzone from four yards out to give Patrick County an early 6-0 lead.
PC carried that lead through the end of the first quarter, and much of the second. The Cougars missed two scoring opportunities, the first coming immediately after their touchdown when Nicholas Tarpley recovered another Floyd County fumble on their own 25-yard line. Patrick County's ensuing drive went just three plays after a bad snap pushed them back 15 yards and they couldn't recover.
The Cougars only drive of the second quarter lasted 17 plays and took more than eight minutes off the clock, but it ultimately ended with an incomplete pass on fourth down on the Floyd 19-yard line.
Floyd responded by moving down the field in seven plays and scoring on a 15 yard pass from Avery Chaffin to Tyler Fenton with seven seconds left on the clock.
Floyd took a 7-6 lead into the half.
“It was a little bit of a stunned,” Cougars head coach David Morrison said of the mood at halftime. “We were a little bit stunned because we basically hurt ourselves. We had some penalties on some big plays that ended up hurting us and we had an error in assignment that cost us a touchdown. Things like that, you cannot play a team that's as well coached as Floyd and overcome it. You cannot have those breakdown and overcome that because they're a fantastic team.”
Patrick County came out of the halftime gate again putting together a lengthy drive of seven yards that again ended on a turnover on downs.
The Cougars got another chance on their second possession of the half. Running back Dae'Shawn Penn broke through the Floyd defense and rumbled down the field for a 66-yard touchdown that ignited the Patrick County bench, but the TD was called back due to an illegal block in the back call 41 yards into the run.
The Cougars didn't let it discourage them. Three plays later Sprowl found Chris Drewery on a 27-yard pass for a touchdown. It was Sprowl's only completed pass of the night.
The score put PC up 12-7 with 1:48 left in the third.
“I was really proud to see that we responded to adversity the way we did,” Morrison said.
Floyd County had one more response in them, too. The Buffaloes put together a 15 play drive that ended in a 12-yard touchdown from Avery Chaffin to Brady Chaffin.
Trailing 13-12, Patrick County had just over 7 minutes to put together a game-winning drive. Starting on their own 31, they went 55 yards in 11 plays, but again failed to convert a fourth-down attempt, turning it over with just over two minutes to play.
Floyd converted a first down and kneeled to drain the clock for the one point win.
“We did not play to our potential any aspect of the game I thought,” Morrison said. “However the boys did show a lot of resolve and they came back and they fought hard in the second half, we just came up short. Unfortunately we just didn't have our best game tonight.”
Patrick County (1-1) will go on the road next week to take on Christiansburg at 7 p.m.