Reed City quarterback Nolan Patterson rebounds from leg injury to earn starting job

Patterson under center as Coyotes go for fourth-straight undefeated regular season

REED CITY — The Reed City Coyotes extended their regular-season winning streak to 30 games with a 60-27 victory over Baldwin on Thursday, but for the first time in three seasons former Coyote Chad Samuels wasn’t under center. Instead the Coyote faithful were introduced to their new quarterback, senior Nolan Patterson.

AT THE LINE: Reed City quarterback Nolan Patterson (center) prepares to take a snap during Thursday’s prep football game against Baldwin at Reed City High School. Patterson, a senior, is taking over for former Coyote standout quarterback Chad Samuels, who went 30-3 with Reed City the past three seasons before graduating this spring. (Pioneer photos/Daine Pavloski)

AT THE LINE: Reed City quarterback Nolan Patterson (center) prepares to take a snap during Thursday’s prep football game against Baldwin at Reed City High School. Patterson, a senior, is taking over for former Coyote standout quarterback Chad Samuels, who went 30-3 with Reed City the past three seasons before graduating this spring. (Pioneer photos/Daine Pavloski)

With Samuels graduating last spring and taking his talents to Northwood University this fall, the quarterback duties for the Coyotes have fallen to Patterson, who last started a game at quarterback in his sophomore year.

He has some big cleats to fill as he looks to give the Coyotes their fourth-straight undefeated regular season and Central State Activities Association (CSAA) title.

Samuels, who went 30-3 in his career, capped it off with a pile of accolades during his senior season, including an All-State honorable mention and a first-team selection on the All-CSAA team after going 39-for-63 for 950 yards with 11 touchdowns in his last campaign with the squad, leadership that Patterson noticed.

“I’ve always looked up to Chad and we’ve worked together forever,” Patterson said. “He’s a good guy, I like him a lot and he really led our team when he was here.”

Patterson had to watch Samuels from the sidelines in 2013 due to a leg injury that left his football future in question.

“It was a really serious injury,” he said. “There were chances I wouldn’t be able to play.”

“He’s come a long way, last year with his injury, and what a terrible injury he had, breaking his leg,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “He’s fought back and he’s been through a lot.”

Price noted how strong Patterson was as a leader against Baldwin in Week 1, even though the quarterback only threw a handful of passes, including an interception on his first attempt.

“He did a great job leading our team out there (Thursday).” Price said. “I understand if he was nervous, I don’t know if he was, but I’d certainly understand if he was in his first varsity start. We’ve got to clean up a few mistakes here and there, but I think he’s going to have a great season and I think he’ll be a great leader for us. I’m very proud with how he played (Thursday).”

For Patterson, whose passing highlight came early in the game on a tipped completion to Andre Jones for almost 40 yards, he was just happy to start his own chapter of Reed City history on a positive note.

“It was a really good feeling,” he said. “We’ve worked hard all week and it’s just nice to execute and finally put the game away. We started the season off good.”

Because the Coyotes’ smash-mouth power offense relies on a strong rushing attack, Patterson’s role is more as a facilitator and leader in the Reed City huddle, something he succeeded on throughout the game on Thursday as the Coyotes put up over 370 yards on the ground.

“I felt he had command of the huddle and I felt he managed the game very well,” Price said.

“I’m honored to be able to play for a team like this,” Patterson said. “You just have to make (his teammates) want it and they do want it. They’re great guys and they’re big, tough guys and it’s great playing with them, I love it.”

Patterson and the Coyotes (1-0) will look to add win No. 31 in their CSAA opener on Friday at Tri-County (1-0).

Leave a Reply