A homecoming victory over Gulf Breeze High School was exactly what the Patriot varsity football team needed in order to avoid losing a fourth straight game on Friday night. The PHS ground attack of Anthony Johnson Jr. kept the Dolphins from pulling an upset at PHS in a 42-31 victory.

A homecoming victory over Gulf Breeze High School was exactly what the Patriot varsity football team needed in order to avoid losing a fourth straight game on Friday night. The PHS ground attack of Anthony Johnson Jr. kept the Dolphins from pulling an upset at PHS in a 42-31 victory.

Johnson, who  recorded 352 rushing yards and five touchdowns when he was handed the football 37 times, credited his offensive line for Friday night’s success.

“If it were not for them, I could not have done what I did,” Johnson said after the game. “They really rallied in the second half, they gave me the holes and I did what I had to do.”

While an interception from Pace Linebacker Layne Plant allowed the Patriot offense to run the clock out within the final two minutes of the game, it was the long touchdown runs from Johnson in the second half which put the finishing touches on the game.

“We do play all 48 minutes, but really in the second half that is when we really turn it up full-throttle,” Johnson said. “This (win) gives us tremendous momentum.”

 Pace Head Coach Mickey Lindsey was also relieved to walk away with a victory against a Gulf Breeze team which spoiled Milton High School’s homecoming game earlier this month.

“It has been a rough three weeks, but the young men came back and did what they had to do,” Lindsey said.

 PHS receiver Ty Oxford also had an impressive game with six catches for 127 yards.  

While the Patriots pulled out much needed victory, the Dolphins kept the game close.  The Dolphins tied with the Patriots twice in the second quarter on a touchdown pass and a running touchdown. Gulf Breeze then took the 21-14 lead late in the second quarter on a running play from Tyler Dittmer. However, Pace answered with a goal line touchdown run from Johnson within final seconds of the first half, leaving a 21-21 tied ball game at halftime.

 In the second half, Gulf Breeze took the lead twice on a touchdown reception and a three point field goal. The Patriots defense also prevailed in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter while keeping the Dolphins out of the end zone and allowing the Patriots to take control at the end of the game. The Patriots will next host rival Milton on October 30. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.