Matched up against one of the most explosive offenses in the Sac-Joaquin Section, the East Union football team simply couldn't account for all of Patterson's weapons.
It turned into a big night for Kendrick Bond, the Tigers' speedy slot receiver.
Bond had 104 yards of total offense and three touchdowns as Patterson returned to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with a resounding victory, 63-28. The fourth-ranked Tigers will host No. 5 Vista del Lago in the second round of the Division III tournament.
"Kendrick had a great game in that slot position," Cozart said. "We saw that East Union was giving some space on the seams and we had some good opportunities to take advantage there."
Bond had eight carries for 72 yards and two catches for 32 yards. He scored all three touchdowns in the second quarter as the Tigers roared into halftime with a 42-14 lead. The senior found the end zone on a 16-yard pass from Gabe Sanchez, and then tacked on scoring runs of 25 and 6 yards.
The playoff win continues a turnaround season for Patterson, which struggled mightily last fall and missed the postseason. The Tigers (10-1) have won nine consecutive games.
Sanchez was 8 of 11 for 121 yards and three touchdowns. He also tucked the ball 11 times, finishing with a team-high 93 rushing yards. He closed the first-half scoring with a 37-yard strike to Joe Okitukunda.
Phabian Threadgill found the end zone twice. He opened the scoring with a 13-yard pass from Sanchez and later plowed in from the 2-yard line. Kingston Mamea, David Valverde and Jacob Vainuku also scored touchdowns for Patterson, which scored 35 unanswered points over the second and third quarters.
"Overall, it was a great win for us to get back in the win column for playoffs, and especially in a tough D-III bracket," Cozart said. "Our guys have stayed hungry and determined to prove last year as a mere speed bump along the way."
Quarterback JoJo Espinosa rushed for three of East Union's four touchdowns. He finished with 93 yards on 15 carries, but wasn't nearly as dynamic through the air. Espinosa completed 8 of his 15 passes for just 61 yards and an interception.
Despite the loss, the Lancers (7-4) continue to build under coach Willie Herrera. East Union qualified for the postseason for the second straight year and finished the regular season in The Bee's large-school power rankings.
Eleven Lancers just weren't enough to cover Patterson's "Spread 'em and Shred 'em" offense, which has scored 60 or more points in three straight games.