What was a dream for Patrick Henry High School quarterback Luke Lowery Friday night was a nightmare for the Granite Hills defense.
Lowery, a sophomore, was on the junior varsity three weeks ago. The Granite Hills secondary wishes he were still there.
Lowery picked the the Eagles’ secondary apart, completing 12 of 17 passes for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns as Patrick Henry (3-1) dominated the Eagles, 35-12, in a nonleague game on the winners’ field.
“Right now, I’m in dreamland,” Lowery said.
He got there because senior quarterback Matt Mealiffe suffered a broken collarbone, which ended his season, in a 38-21 loss to seventh-ranked San Dieguito two weeks ago. Lowery was pulled up to start against Kearny last week.
“Here’s my dream come true, and look what’s happened,” Lowery said. “I thought I would try as hard as I could, and whatever happens, happens.”
After starting the Kearny game with a couple of interceptions, Lowery settled in and was 7 of 11 for 136 yards in a 24-10 victory.
He continued his hot hand against Granite Hills (2-2), completing 9 of 11 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown in the first half. He was 3 of 6 in the second half, but two passes were dropped.
Patrick Henry Coach Chris Miller was worried about how to stop Granite Hills’ veer offense and running back Brian Giles, who had more than a 1,000 yards rushing last year and was averaging 144 yards in three games this season.
Patrick Henry came up with a simple solution. Keep the offense on the field.
The Patriots did not have to punt until 5:48 was left in the third quarter and they had built a 21-6 lead. Patrick Henry punted only once more in the game, scoring on 5 of its 9 possessions.
And kicker Andy Trakas would not give Granite Hills the ball in good field position. He kicked off six times, and Granite Hills could not return a single one; five went through the end zone.
Patrick Henry didn’t stop Giles--he rushed for 147 yards on 23 carries, including 94 yards on 11 rushes in the first half. But the Patriots didn’t need to.
Granite Hills could not catch up after Patrick Henry took a 14-6 lead because it could not produce any kind of passing attack. Starting quarterback Matt Mikolajewski was 2 for 9 for 15 yards and an interception in the first half. Robert Rowe came on in the second half but completed only 1 of his first 5 passes, and by the time he connected on his second, Patrick Henry was leading, 35-6.
Khalil Cleo Short scored on a 1-yard run to give Patrick Henry a 7-0 lead. Giles scored from 3 yards to pull Granite Hills within 7-6 early in the second quarter, but that was as close as the Eagles would get after Dino Destefano blocked the extra-point attempt. Patrick Henry then scored 28 consecutive points.
Lowery passed 6 yards to Short as the Patriots led, 14-6, at the half. Short then hit Len Bradley for a 26-yard score to start the second half, and Derrick Deadwiler added touchdown runs of 17 and 33 yards. Granite Hills added a late touchdown on a 25-yard pass from Rowe to Mark Phillips.