The Page High School Patriots remained perfect on the season after defeating region foe Nolensville High School 40-22 on Senior Night.
Nolensville (2-6, 2-2 in 6-5A) kept it close for much of the night, but four touchdowns by Colorado State commit Jake McNamara proved to be just too much for the Knights to overcome.
Patriots head coach Charles Rathbone thought that the offense really came through for his team Friday and allowed them to remain perfect on the season.
“The offense making some plays when they had the chance, I think that really helped us more than anything," Rathbone said. “Trying to get a couple scores ahead, make them play from behind, and hopefully our defense would work out, which they did…McNamara had another big game so I was really proud of him and the offensive line.
The defense played well overall, led by Colin Hurd’s 10 total tackles and two TFL's. Isaac Hehmeyer had five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.
Nolensville marched down the field on the opening drive and scored on a 27-yard run by running back Samson Johnson, but a failed two-point conversion left the score 6-0, early in the first quarter.
Later in the first quarter, Page running back Ethan Cunningham capped off a Patriot drive with a 1-yard touchdown that started at the Nolensville 10-yard line, thanks to a rough punt by the Knights.
Nolensville kicker Reese Miller gave the Knights the lead again late in the first quarter, 9-7, after 37-yard field goal.
But in the final minute of the frame, McNamara found wide receiver Michael Mayer for his first touchdown pass of the game to put the Patriots up 14-9.
Mayer had four catches for 105 yards and the score.
Nolensville quarterback Coby Walton answered with a 24-yard touchdown to Ben Coggin with 9:40 remaining in the second to make it 16-14 Knights.
Page retook the lead with just under four minutes remaining in the half, 17-16, on a 37-yard field goal by senior kicker Dominick Quarantello. His first of two field goals in the game.
Page would not relinquish the lead again.
After an ineligible receiver penalty took a touchdown off the board, and stalled a Nolensville drive, McNamara led the Patriots on a scoring drive to end the half. He found junior wide receiver Boyce Smith for an 11-yard score to give the Patriots a 23-16 lead at halftime.
Smith led the Patriots receiving corps with seven receptions for 115 yards and two scores on the evening
“They are like us, they run a lot of RPOs so, that's going to happen every now and then,” Rathbone said.
Page stretched the lead to 14, after 25-yard touchdown reception by Max Collins to open the third quarter.
McNamara finished the game 20-30 for 331 yards and four touchdowns.
Nolensville answered with a touchdown, only to see McNamara hook up with Smith again on a 44-yard touchdown with 3:38 remaining in the third quarter.
“I think we answered every score they made so we never gave them a position without us scoring,” Rathbone said. “That was big. I think the offensive coaching staff called a good game and did a great job. The guys executed and made plays when they had to, and that’s ultimately what it came down to.”
The fourth quarter featured some deep, but ultimately futile, drives by Nolensville into Patriots territory and a couple runs over 30 yards by Cunningham to run out the clock and keep the Patriots perfect in the final home game for the seniors. Cunningham finished the night with nine carries for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Rathbone raved about his seniors, and their leadership during this undefeated season thus far.
“Every single one of them contributes, they are all leaders, they do a great job, and they support each other,” he said. “They take the opportunity, and when they take the opportunity, they make a play. The best thing about them is that they are genuinely good kids. They work hard, they play hard and they are a lot of fun to be around.”
Both teams will have a bye next week. Nolensville will host Franklin on Oct. 22. Page will travel to Independence.