Patriots drop 6-3 decision to Jackets

Henry County  tight end Hudson Cepparulo (left) attempts to break a tackle on this run after catching a pass in the Patriots’ 6-3 loss to Springfield on Friday at Patriot Stadium. Patriots Norman Duncan (9) and Julius Guthrie (5) are also in the photograph.

Henry County High School head coach James Counce Jr. wanted nothing more on Friday night than to get back to practice and start working to get better after the Patriot football team dropped a frustrating 6-3 decision to Springfield in a Region 7-5A contest played at Patriot Stadium.

The loss came on a night when HCHS recognized the 10-year reunion of the 2011 Patriots Class 5A state championship team and it broke a 26-game region win streak. The Patriots fell to 3-4 on the season and are now 2-1 in the region. Henry County will look to bounce back when they travel to Paducah this Friday to battle the Tilghman Blue Tornado.

“They just made a few more plays than we did,” said Counce after the game. “It’s not the end of the world. We are hurting right now, but that is what you are supposed to do. We are going to get back to working to get better. Right now, it is important that we get healthy. We are just going to keep working hard and keep loving these kids.”

Counce said he was proud of how hard the team fought in the game and he was extremely proud of a defensive unit that has allowed just six points over the last three games.

“The defensive unit is playing very well. The coaches are doing a great job over there and the guys are playing really hard,” said Counce.

Henry County got the ball moving through the air on its second possession with Ryan Damron passes to Julius Guthrie and Hudson Cepparulo moving the Patriots to the Yellow Jackets’ 39-yard line. Henry County would drive all the way to the Springfield 4, but couldn’t push it into the end zone on fourth down and Springfield took over on downs just before the first quarter ended.

Midway through the second period, the Patriots again failed to convert a fourth-down attempt at the Springfield 30. Springfield couldn’t take advantage and the first half ended in a scoreless tie.



Springfield took the second-half kickoff and mounted what would prove to be a game-winning drive. The Patriots had the Yellow Jackets in long yardage situations on third down twice early in the drive, but Springfield quarterback Devon Crenshaw made big throws for first down. Crenshaw connected with fullback Martavious Johnson on a 47-yard gain to the Patriots’ 7. Two plays later, Crenshaw powered his way into the end zone for a touchdown. Springfield’s conversion attempt failed because of a bad snap, but the Yellow Jackets had taken a 6-0 lead with 6:44 left in the third quarter.

Late in the third period, the Patriots began a drive that produced points. The key play in the drive was a pass interference call on Springfield that gave Henry County a first down at the Yellow Jackets’ 26. The drive stalled early in the fourth period and the Patriots settled for a 37-yard field goal by Aiden Frey to cut Springfield’s lead to 6-3.

Henry County got its last chance to pull out the win after receiving a Springfield punt with just under three minutes left in the game. The Patriots began moving the ball with a series of short passes to get across midfield to the Yellow Jackets’ 43.

A quarterback sack backed Henry County up and Springfield defensive back Trayvion Binford intercepted the Patriots’ last pass with 1:13 left in the contest.

The Patriots had no timeouts left and Springfield was able to run out the clock on the 6-3 victory at HCHS.

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