In last week's loss to top-ranked City, Ryan Lewis rushed for 72 yards. But his game-tying, 58-yard touchdown couldn't rescue No. 9 Patterson from its first defeat.
But in yesterday's 15-8 victory over visiting and No. 13 Forest Park, Lewis turned up the heat, rushing for 219 of the Clippers' 297 total yards with second-quarter touchdowns of 71 and 74 yards.
He also added 11 tackles from his linebacker post, as Patterson (8-1) improved its 4A state playoff chances and eliminated the Foresters (5-4) from the 2A race. Patterson entered the game in seventh place in the eight-team field.
"Last week's game was played in the rain, but they beat us fair and square," said Lewis, whose 4.3-second 40-yard -- speed has carried him over 882 yards for 13 touchdowns.
"There was a lot of pressure to win. This meant the playoffs."
In a scoreless first quarter, Patterson missed two chances to score, including once on a drive that reached the Forest Park 17. But Lewis scored just 48 seconds into the second period on the Clippers' initial play.
After Newman Thompson's 52-yard punt pinned Patterson on its 29, Lewis blasted off tackle on a misdirection trap play. He then won a footrace to the end zone against three defenders who run the 40-yard -- in 4.5 or better.
It was 8-0 after Stacey Plater's conversion catch from Willie McGirt (6-of-21, 89 yards).
"I saw the hole after Rahim Booth made a block on the linebacker," said Lewis (5 feet 8, 175 pounds). "Then I broke a couple of arm tackles and just sprinted to the end zone."
Five minutes later, he scored from the Patterson 26 on a play that duped the Foresters' defense. On the snap, Lewis struck a bent-over pose 5 yards into the backfield. McGirt appeared to be dropping back to pass, but dished a slick handoff to Lewis who disappeared upfield.
Mike Jaski's kick gave Patterson a 15-0 halftime lead.
"Willie makes a great fake on that play," said Patterson coach Roger Wrenn, whose offense gained just 27 second-half yards. "We had poor field position during the second half and kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties. We never were in position to use our option."
A good reason for that was a rejuvenated Foresters defense of Thompson (two pass deflections), Kiam Preston (one pass deflection) and linebacker Lionell Yewitt.
Forest Park (149 offensive yards) opened the second half with a 13-play, 56-yard drive capped by Robert Arthur's (82 yards, 28 carries) ninth touchdown with 1:44 left in the third period. The drive consumed nine minutes and was capped by Arthur's conversion pass to James Heath (three passes, 29 yards).
"We always come out and play tough in the second half," said Heath, Plater's stepbrother. "But it's a team effort, and we lost as a team."
In the final period, two Foresters scoring opportunities were foiled by a Clippers defensive of Lewis, linebacker Joe Mechlinski (17 tackles), safety Eugene Laster (13), Wendell Collins (one sack) and cornerback Earl Smith. Plater picked up his sixth interception.