Patterson's 12th-ranked football team couldn't board its bus fast enough after edging host Walbrook, 15-14, in yesterday's Baltimore City 4A League game.
"We were lucky to escape this one," Clippers coach Roger Wrenn said. "I feel fortunate to get out of here with a win, and I hope that this will wake us up.
"Coming off a championship season, sometimes you forget how you got there, and this should remind us that we have some things to do and some things we need to work on."
After taking a 15-6 lead with 1:05 remaining in the third quarter on a 49-yard interception return by junior Marcus Nickens and a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Willie McGirt to Earl Smith, Patterson found itself holding on until the final whistle.
Walbrook, which defeated Southern-BC, 12-0, in last week's opener, found reason to believe in the fourth quarter when running back Eric Colclough plunged in from 2 yards to pull his team to 15-12 with 3:45 left. Walbrook quarterback Maurice Selby found tight end Damien Allen for a two-point conversion.
Walbrook's defense did its part on Patterson's next possession and awarded its offense the ball near midfield with 47 seconds left.
The Warriors moved to Patterson's 37 on a pass from Selby to Richard Harris, but that was as close as they would get. Selby's next pass was intercepted by Stacey Plater.
"They got down on themselves a little bit, but I thought my guys showed a lot of character today, especially in the fourth quarter," Walbrook coach Bill Hice said. "They didn't quit in the second half, and that's the main thing. That made me feel good."
What made Hice feel bad were two missed chances by his offense, which twice came away empty after having first-and-goal inside the 5.
Patterson (2-0), which opened its season last week with a 27-6 win over Edmondson, took advantage of excellent field position in the first quarter and started its first drive on Walbrook's 16 after an interception by Timothy Horky.
Four plays later, McGirt passed to Plater for a 4-yard touchdown. Sophomore Mike Jaski made the point-after kick to put the Clippers ahead 7-0 with 6:48 left in the quarter.
Walbrook's opening drive of the second quarter was stopped by an interception by Earl Smith, but the Warriors' offense was not off the field long, as Patterson fumbled on the next play and Norris Johnson recovered.
The Warriors took over at Patterson's 36 and after a 32-yard pass from Johnson to Harris had at first and goal at the 4.
Sophomore David Merritt scored Walbrook's first points when he ran in from 4 yards, but the two-point conversion play failed, and the Warriors trailed 7-6.
"I thought they outplayed us and we were fortunate to win," said Wrenn, whose team will travel to Mervo next week.
"They didn't do too much that we didn't expect, but they did it quite well."