Every single player on the Westinghouse defense knew what Solorio planned to do on pretty much every play of the game on Saturday. The Sun Warriors were going to run the ball right up the gut with quarterback Quincy Patterson or running back Justin Members. There just wasn’t much they could do to stop it.
Patterson, a 6-4, 230-pound quarterback, has spent the season staking his claim as the top player in the Public League and picking up college scholarship offers. The junior put on another show against the Warriors, leading visiting Solorio to a 49-34 victory.
“I’ve seen Quincy grow, not just physically but mentally,” Solorio defensive lineman Kiywuan Cheatham said. “He’s learned to control the ball. For him to be so young and so dominant it is inspiring.”
Patterson had 19 carries for 262 yards with touchdown runs of 20, eight, 13 and 19 yards. He only threw four passes but his one completion was a 69-yard touchdown to Robert Chayka.
Patterson entered the season with offers from Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico and Penn State. Over the past few weeks he’s added Syracuse and Northwestern to the list.
“It’s the greatest feeling,” Patterson said. “Getting that many options is amazing.”
Patterson was very thin last season and he’s spent the past year bulking up. The added weight has made him a load for opposing defenses.
“I’ve been trying not to cut so much when I run,” Patterson said. “I can kinda feel people fall over when I get into them.”
Members, a senior, rushed 16 times for 219 yards with touchdown runs of 61 and seven yards. Patterson and Members weren’t perfect. Both fumbled the ball twice.
“The game today was pretty sloppy,” Solorio coach Matt Erlenbaugh said. “We didn’t protect the ball well. We really shot ourselves in the foot. But overall we find ways to win, find ways to come together and get victories.”
Cheatham, a 6-4, 389-pound defensive lineman, was an impact player for the Sun Warriors (5-1, 3-0 Illini Land of Lincoln). He carries his weight well and made several big plays in the game, including three sacks.
“He started off slow but it’s kicked in,” Patterson said. “Today was the greatest game I’ve seen him play and I’ve played with him since seventh grade. It’s great knowing we still have him next year.”
Cheatham agreed that it was a special game for him, but also admitted he has some big dreams.
“I’ve been having some pretty good games but this one, it takes the cake,” Cheatham said. “I’ve been doing laterals and stuff, trying to get faster and faster. I haven’t heard from colleges but I’m waiting. I’m trying to go all the way to the pros.”
Like Solorio, Westinghouse’s football program is in its infancy. The Warriors (4-2, 1-2) have improved significantly since last season and are still playing loads of underclassmen.
Sophomore quarterback AJ Harris was 15-for-29 for 177 yards with two touchdowns. He also scored on a two-yard run in the fourth quarter. Harris seemed to have a special connection with senior Devon Myles, who caught five passes for 102 yards. Luther Sparkman had a spectacular 65 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.
Junior running back Kenyea Houston added 13 carries for 79 yards for the Warriors.
“Westinghouse is obviously on the rise,” Erlenbaugh said. “I could see them becoming a power out here on the West Side.”