Oakland gets 1st win

Oakland gets 1st win

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Oakland gets 1st win

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NASHVILLE

Oakland barely needed an hour to put in a full night’s worth of work.

The Patriots put up 42 first-half points, while their defense smothered an outmanned and outgunned Hunters Lane squad in a 56-6 Oakland victory Friday night at Warrior Stadium.

Senior tailback Travon Willis put up his second straight three-touchdown game for the Pats, racking up 105 yards on just four carries in the first half.

Junior quarterback Emmanuel Smith threw for 120 yards and a pair of scores while splitting time in the first half with backup Rhett Stacy. Neither Smith nor Willis played after halftime.

“We knew we had to treat it like we were playing any other game, like it was against Riverdale or Siegel,” said Willis, who has 239 yards and six touchdowns on just 20 carries so far this season. “But games like this are fun, when you get to see some of the younger guys get in and get experience.”

Trying to erase the memory of a tough Week Zero loss to Arlington, Oakland fans didn’t have to wait long for something to cheer about. Just 1:10 into the first quarter, Smith found wideout George Gbesee for a 13-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Gbesee was one of six different Patriots to score in the game.

“We knew that the environment probably wasn’t going to be what we’re used to in Murfreesboro,” said Oakland coach Tommy McDaniel, whose team improved to 1-1 on the season. “But our kids were focused and they prepared and it showed in the way we handled ourselves. We got a lot of people in the game and got some good experience.”

Hunters Lane tried to answer Oakland’s opening score and seemed to have at least a taste of momentum when Shaquille Baker broke off a 10-yard run on the Warriors’ first play from scrimmage. However, it was Hunters Lane’s last first down until 7:08 mark of the second quarter when an Oakland penalty moved the chains.

The Warriors managed just three yards rushing in the first half and 59 for the game. In total, they were outgained 390-95 by the physically dominating Patriots.

Oakland’s 42-0 halftime lead meant a running clock in the second half, but the Patriots still made the most of their opportunities, needing just seven plays in the third quarter to rack up two more touchdowns.

Darrionta Williams’ interception and return set up Tyler Black’s 8-yard touchdown reception from Stacey, and Eric Abernathy capped a five-play, 46-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run on the final play of the third quarter.

Hunters Lane avoided the shutout on its final drive of the night as Xavier Eddins 2-yard dive was the final play of a 65-yard drive that saw the Warriors gain five of their seven first downs.

“Coming in, our plan was to play two defensive units,” said McDaniel. “They played well enough that, going into next week, we’re going to do it again until we find our best eleven. But if everyone continues to improve, we’ll just keep playing twenty-four.”

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