Patterson steps in at QB for Lions in thrashing of Wildcats

File photo, Shaquille Patterson, Zion Lions vs. Cedar Bears, Football, St. George, Utah, Mar. 31, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

DRAPER – Zion Lion fans have wondered aloud who would step in at quarterback if star Michael Matalolo was unable to go, and how would the Lions offense fare.

The answers: Shaquille Patterson, and very well.

Patterson stepped in at QB after Matalolo was injured in the second half and led the Lions to 21 unanswered points and a runaway 44-6 victory at the Utah Wildcats Saturday evening in Salt Lake County.

“First of all, Michael played very well before he got hurt,” Zion coach Dale Stott said. “He always runs it well and his passing was sharp. But on an extra point in the third quarter it was a bad snap and he got hit right in the middle of his back with a helmet. We don’t think it’s too serious, but he was unable to return.”

Enter Patterson. The speedster, who has been returning kicks for the Lions, immediately led the Lions on a long drive. But he fumbled in the red zone and the Lions came away empty-handed.

However, on the next three drives, Patterson led Zion to three straight touchdowns. He took off on a 50-yard TD run for the first one late in the third quarter that made it 30-6. He then hit Justin Fulton for a huge gain to set up a short TD run by Rimo Mapu early in the fourth quarter.

File photo, Zion Lions’ Rimo Mapu (5), Zion Lions vs. Davis Vipers, St. George, Utah, Apr. 22, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Mapu capped another exciting Patterson-led drive late in the game to arrive at the final 44-6 score.

“I’ll tell you, Shaquille Patterson is electrifying,” Stott said. “He’s something else to watch. He’s so fast and quick as a hiccup. He could start on defense and he could start at receiver, but I’ve been holding him out and getting him reps at quarterback for occasions just like this. He looked good.”

The Lions scored on the second play from scrimmage when Matalolo hit Bailey Glass for a 60-yard touchdown. Early in the second quarter, Matalolo scrambled for 20-yard TD run and Andrew Simanu caught the two-point conversion to make it 14-0. Dillon Bishoff hit a 33-yard field goal just before halftime to make it 17-0.

Early in the third quarter, Tui Tuiasasopo recovered a Wildcats fumble and Matalolo made it 23-0 when he hit Clifton Smith for a 35-yard TD pass. The extra point was when Matalolo was injured.

The Wildcats briefly cut it to 23-6, but then Patterson got it going and the Lions scored 21 straight to end the game.

“We were missing lot key players today, including Prentiss Miller and Isaac Katoa,” Stott said. “We didn’t have a number of significant guys, but we still rolled. The guys did a good job and I was impressed with how Shaquille Patterson stepped in did a good job. He probably had 80 yards rushing in the second half.”

The Lions, 6-0, have a bye next week and then visit new rival the Cedar Bears on May 19. The Wildcats drop to 1-4 on the season.

Scoring summary
1Q – Zion Lions TD pass Matalolo to Glass 60 yards (kick failed), 6-0
2Q – Zion Lions Matalolo 20 run (Matalolo to Simanu two-point conversion), 14-0
2Q – Bishoff 33 FG, 17-0
3Q – Zion Lions TD pass Matalolo to Smith 35 yards (kick failed), 23-0
3Q – Utah Wildcats 10 run (kick failed) 23-6
3Q – Zion Lions Shaquille Patterson 50 run (Bishoff kick), 30-6
4Q – Zion Lions Mapu 10 run (Bishoff kick), 37-6
4Q – Zion Lions Mapu 10 run (Bishoff kick), 44-6

SWFL Standings
1. Zion Lions 6-0
2. Wasatch Revolution 3-1
3. Vegas Hawks 3-2
4. Vegas Trojans 1-2
5. Utah Wildcats 1-4
6. Cedar Bears 0-5

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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