It wasn’t much of a battle.
It was more of a statement for the rest of the state.
Oakland dominated Riverdale 41-7 Thursday night at Tomahawk Stadium in the Battle of the ‘Boro. The win ended a Riverdale two-game win streak in the crosstown rivalry. The Warriors still lead the series 32-12.
“We need to start solidifying that the hype is for real,” Oakland coach Thomas McDaniel said. “We have to continue to do that. The road doesn’t get any easier for us. The next couple of weeks are going to be extremely challenging for us.
“We won’t be able to do some of the things we did (Thursday) against some other people. We’ll use this film as a teaching tool. But we needed to come out and dominate both lines of scrimmage, and we did that.”
Oakland plays at Memphis White Station next week before hosting Siegel on Sept. 6.
Oakland (1-0 overall, 1-0 in 7-AAA) finished with 306 total yards of offense, including 293 on the ground. Riverdale (0-1, 0-1) finished with 148 total yards, including 113 rushing yards.
Oakland’s 34-point win is its most lopsided against Riverdale.
“They are a better football team than us,” Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott said. “We got what we deserved based on some of our work ethics. We are going to have to decide if we are going to work.
“But a lot of the mistakes we made were young people. Those kids will stick with us, and they are going to battle.”
Oakland senior Fred Wade, who didn’t play a down as a junior due to a knee injury, ran 88 yards on Oakland’s first offensive play to take a quick 7-0 lead.
“I was excited about it,” Wade said. “I was like, ‘If I get this block, I’m going to take it to the house no matter what.'”
Oakland scored three times after Riverdale turnovers, including twice on defensive scores.
Oakland sophomore defensive tackle Ty Nix, son of MTSU defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix, snagged freshman Marquel Odom’s pass and scampered 14 yards for the touchdown to make it 13-0. Kevin Prather later forced and recovered Chanton Pace’s fumble. Oakland’s Tyler Black then capped the Patriots’ 38-yard drive with a 12-yard TD reception by Rhett Stacey.
Riverdale cut the deficit to 20-7 on Ken Collins’ 16-yard run with 7:06 left in the second quarter. The play was set up by Black’s fumble on a muffed punt.
D.J. Hood came back for the Patriots, scoring on a 1-yard TD run to push it to 27-7 with 2:34 left in the first half. Oakland scored one more time in the first half when defensive lineman Austin Barrett scooped Odom’s fumble when Curtis Gaines sacked him and returned it 15 yards for another score to make it 34-7.
Wade had the game’s lone second-half score on a 6-yard TD run with 4:28 left in the third quarter.
“We wanted everyone to know that we’re not playing,” Wade said. “We’ve got to live up to the hype.”