STORY BY JAKE DONOVAN | PHOTOS BY STEVE WHEELER
A week after having to sweat out an overtime win over Lincoln County, the Page Patriots left nothing to chance in cruising to a 55-7 victory at home over White County in a Region 5A clash Friday.
Senior running back Quincy Brock-Compton scored two touchdowns for the Patriots, who found the end zone on the first possession of the game and at least once every quarter. Page managed five rushing touchdowns on the night, along with junior quarterback Cade Walker throwing for two more scores.
“After last week, we challenged the guys to come out with a little more emotion, more excitement and not to take any team for granted,” Page head coach Charles Rathbone told the Home Page. “I was proud of the team that they came out and did that. They got the job done; they came out early and showed they can play focused right from the opening kickoff.”
It took the Patriots all of four plays from scrimmage to find the end zone. Senior running back Jackson Satterfield ran the rock on every play of the opening drive, capping with a 24-yard run to the house to put Page on the board less than two minutes into the game.
From there, the Patriots (7-1, 4-0 in Region 5A play) never looked back as they dominated on both sides of the football.
The visiting White County Warriors (0-7, 0-4 region) were forced to punt on five of their first six possessions, the exception coming on a lengthy drive that saw two 4th down conversions. Though, they were left with nothing to show for it, as an end zone pass on 4th and goal was deflected by sophomore cornerback Simon Simmonds in allowing Page to take over on downs.
By that point, the Pats were up 28-0 thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns from Brock-Compton and a 19-yard touchdown pass from Walker to Michael Burdick. But they weren’t done yet.
“Tonight was all about demonstrating what we can do when we stay locked in on every play,” Brock-Compton said afterward. “The coaches challenged us to play with more fire and drive and we just wanted to respond on the field.”
So much, that they didn’t waste a single second of the remaining 1:06 of the first half. Pinned at their own 3-yard line, the Patriots moved the chains in a hurry, largely courtesy of Walker’s arm as he converted three consecutive long-yardage passes. The drive was capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass from Walker to Sean Teague as Page entered the locker room with a 35-0 halftime lead.
The game was reminiscent of the manner in which Shelbyville Central (6-0, 3-0 region) topped White County just one week ago. From the outside looking in, the manner in which Page played on Friday could be interpreted as sending a message to their lone regional rival as they square off in two weeks. The Page staff chalked it up as mere coincidence, more so reflective of what they can do when firing on all cylinders.
“I talk to my coaches about this all the time; it’s all about the kids. So even when we were up big, it was never about sending a message to Shelbyville,” Rathbone insisted. “It was the team encouraging each other, making sure everyone got in for at least one play, the seniors and starters cheering on the younger players. That’s all that was going through my mind.”
White County began the second half pinned near their own end zone and ultimately turning the ball over on downs after a botched punt. Page didn’t waste any time with the short field, as Burdick scored his second touchdown of the night, this one coming on a one-yard run.
The third quarter would end much better than it began for the Warriors, who finally found the end zone on the strength of all-purpose player Allen Shoupe powering in on a one-yard run. Still, they would head into the fourth quarter trailing 42-7 as Page emptied its bench to ensure everyone saw at least one rep on Homecoming Night.
“It was fun to see the starters come out and really cheering on the younger kids,” Rathbone noted. “They didn’t go to the bunch and just get lost in some random conversation. Even when they came out, they stayed focused and picked up their teammates on the field. That really meant a lot to me.”
The second string was up to the task. Hank White delivered the offense’s seventh and final touchdown courtesy of a 2-yard run. Two plays later, Reed Evans came through on a pick-six, intercepting an errant Warriors pass for a 26-yard TD return.
By that point, it was safe to begin thinking about October 19 and Page’s showdown with Shelbyville Central, who stormed through Summit High School to remain unbeaten in the region.
With a bye looming for the team, Page will actually have two weeks to think about the matchup that will determine top seed in the postseason.
“Sometimes, there’s a great time for a bye week; sometimes there’s a bad time. We’re playing really good football right now, so I really hate to see that break come up,” admits Rathbone, though recognizing it’s a good problem to have. “But we’ll get started early, coaching staff will break down film on Shelbyville.
“They’re the most athletic team we’ll have faced this year. We have to use every bit of these next two weeks to put our boys in the best situation and just stay ready for Shelbyville.”
Page has now won four straight since a Week 4 loss to Ravenwood High School.