With ace running back Jeremiah Pierce-Johnson knocked out of the game early with a high ankle sprain and the American offense struggling all night long in his absence, it was up to the Patriots defense to come through on Thursday night.
And that’s exactly what happened as American, in a showdown with Mater Academy for the District 16-7A title at Milander Stadium, emerged with a 10-6 victory over the Lions.
American got its only touchdown of the night 2:28 before halftime when Cinque Sweeting capped off a 47-yard, 13-play drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge.
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The game remained that way until 5:43 was left in the game and placekicker Diego Arcon drilled a 41-yard field goal to give the Patriots an important cushion.