After missing last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Tahoma High senior receiver Denham Patricelli knew he had to make big comeback this season to have any hope of playing at the next level.
Two weeks into the season, he’s obviously on the right track.
Patricelli hauled in three first-quarter touchdown passes as the Bears ran out to a big lead and mauled Bethel, 33-7, on Thursday night at Art Crate Field in a SPSL crossover match-up.
“That is why I’m devoted right now,” said Patricelli, who finished with three catches for 125 yards. “I want to get noticed and football is my favorite sport in the whole world. I want to try and go to the next level so I’m just trying to get my name out there.”
After catching three touchdowns last week, Patricelli, who won the javelin state championship for Tahoma in May, outran a couple of defenders and sprinted 44 yards down the sideline for his first touchdown.
Patricelli scored on an almost identical pass-and-catch later in the quarter, this time going 59 yards for a touchdown. He later added a 22-yard touchdown reception with 1:28 remaining, pushing the score to 19-0 after one quarter.
“I knew we missed him last year, but I didn’t realize how much we missed him,” Tahoma coach Tony Davis said.
Quarterback Shane Nelson threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns for Tahoma, which improved to 2-0 on the season. Bethel fell to 1-1.
At Federal Way 47, Emerald Ridge 13: Junior Chico McClatcher totaled 215 all-purpose yards, and had touchdown runs of 56 amd 16 yards as the No. 2 Eagles cruised to a victory at Memorial Stadium.
Auburn Riverside 26, at Kentridge 0: The Ravens scored three touchdowns in the final five minutes of the first half, capped by quarterback Kevin Thomsen 5-yard scamper with 47 seconds to go, and the Ravens won at French Field.
Decatur 32, at Renton 28: Isaiah Diggs scored all five touchdowns for the Gators, including the last one on a 49-yard pass from Isaiah Hatch with 50 seconds left.
Charles Wright Academy 28, at Raymond 21: The Tarriers went 51 yards in 31/2 minutes for quarterback Henry Cheney’s game-winning 1-yard touchdown run, and the defending Nisqually League champions notched a come-from-behind victory.
Ninth-ranked Charles Wright forced four second-half turnovers.
LAST FRONTIER FOR FOSS
The Falcons needed a second-week game, so they advertised their availability.
And Alaska powerhouse Douglas High replied.
A deal was struck – the host school would pay for 25 round-trip airline tickets to Juneau, all meals and a charter bus for the Falcons’ four-day, three-night trip.
“I took it to the principal (Bonnie McGuire) … and said this could be a highlight for Foss football,” Falcons coach Patrick Johnson said. “And she agreed.”
The team raised almost enough to pay for the full cost of the trip for 33 players and 12 coaches. The Falcons flew out of Sea-Tac Airport on Thursday, will practice two days at the stadium, tour Juneau on Saturday morning, then start the game at 7 p.m.
How many on the team have been to Alaska before?
“One player told me he was born there,” Johnson said. “I have not been to Alaska. Two of my coaches have.
“We’ve been using a quote around school … that five years from now, they are not going to remember what the score is. But they will remember the experience.”
NO MORE FORFEITS
Mount Tahoma football coach Kevin Hanis said his team’s opening-week forfeit to Stadium was a “one-week thing.”
He said 65 players signed up. Attrition took away some of that total. Others were ineligible for the first week because of grades and lack of practices.
“Over the next couple of weeks, we will be at 45-50 kids,” Hanis said.
The Thunderbirds host Auburn Mountainview on Friday night.The News Tribune staff contributed to this report.