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The sophomore receiver caught five passes for 133 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown.
Wade Branner | VMI Athletic Communications
Coach Sparky Woods (center) says the VMI football program is “heading in the right direction.”
Wade Branner|VMI Athletic Communications
VMI senior quarterback Eric Kordenbrock completed 12 of 13 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns Saturday.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
When Sam Patterson signed to play football 14 months ago at VMI, Keydets coach Sparky Woods said he and his offensive staff were excited about the catch.
“I thought Sam would be good, yeah,” Woods said.
Well, the lanky kid out of Keswick showed off his goods Saturday at William Fleming High Field.
Basically producing his own breakout highlight film, the 6-foot-5 Patterson caught five passes for 133 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown reception, as the Keydets’ air attack shined in the club’s first full-scale spring scrimmage. Before the 57-play scrimmage, the former Monticello High standout also reeled in every ball that touched his sticky hands in passing skeleton drills.
“I can’t recall any [drops],” a grinning Patterson said. “But I will know when I watch the film [today].”
This is a keeper video for Patterson. The sophomore who was seldom-used as a freshman last season looked like an All-America candidate.
Where did this guy come from?
“It’s our man, Sam!” said senior quarterback Eric Kordenbrock, who thanks to Patterson, completed 12 of 13 passes for 179 yards and two TDs.
“I love the kid. He’s one of those guys like Hines Ward [former Pittsburgh Steelers star]. He’ll go block, he’ll go run across the middle and he will catch every ball that you throw at him. I’m happy that he’s on my team because I would hate to be sitting on the bench watching him catch passes for the other team.
“He was in there a little bit last year. Now, he’s a bigger part of our offense. We’re running plays to get Sam the ball. He’s taller than me, he’s got a big wing span, he can jump, he’s a great athlete. When it snowed two Thursdays ago [in practice], I threw a low slant to him and he caught it one-handed on the top of his shoe and took it to the house.”
Despite the windy conditions, VMI’s pass-and-catch game was superb. Dexter Bridge caught passes of 8 and 16 yards, both for TDs. James Rogers had four catches for 32 yards, and Alec Thompson snagged three balls for 27 yards. Backup QB A.J. Augustine was 7-for-9 passing for 77 yards and a TD.
Still, it was Patterson’s day.
“We had a couple guys graduate last year, Aaron Lewis and Stefawn Ross, and I kinda used them as mentors and they taught me a lot,” said Patterson, who caught only six passes for 61 yards in limited time last season.
“Coming into this school I thought this year would be my year to step up. We’ve got some other guys — Dexter, James and Alec — making plays. I think we should have a much better receiving corps this year. We were just having fun out there.”
While the passing game was clicking, VMI’s defense was far from nonexistent, generating 10 negative yardage plays, including six touch sacks.
“Our defense is good,” Kordenbrock said. “Everybody who plays us is going to see that our defense aren’t scrubs, they can play ball.”
The contest marked the first time that VMI has ever played a scrimmage off post in Lexington. The “VMI Day” was sponsored by the Williamson Road Business Retail Association in conjunction with the Roanoke Chapter of the VMI Alumni Association.
“It was great to get our kids off the hill,” said Woods, referring to the barracks on post. “I think they enjoyed the day here.”
Afterwards, the Keydets quickly changed into their dress whites for a buffet feast at the nearby Golden Corral restaurant.
“Yeah, I’m ready to eat,” Patterson said. “I’d have to say that Golden Corral is a step up from on post.”
“That’s a big deal for us,” Kordenbrock said. “I tell you what, I’m going to eat more than Andrew Marcotte and he’s 6-foot-5, 325 pounds.”
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