With a short week on the horizon, Oakland made short work of host La Vergne Friday night at Freedom Field.
The Patriots needed just 15 touches over the final 13:26 of the first half to post 49 points and roll to a 58-7 victory in advance of Thursday’s District 7-AAA showdown against No. 3 Blackman (8-0, 5-0) — a 28-13 winner over Smyrna Friday.
No. 2 Oakland (8-0, 4-0) scored on a 16-yard run from Darryle Hood Jr. with 1:26 remaining in the first quarter, and it kicked off an offensive and defensive showcase over the next 13:26. The Patriots limited La Vergne (2-6, 1-4) to four straight three-and-out series, and never started on its own side of the field thanks to those four stands.
It set up three straight two-play scoring drives — Kyle Oliver with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Rhett Stacey, Josh Cunningham with a 43-yard touchdown run and Emmanuel Smith with a 35-yard TD run — and one four-play scoring drive capped by Fredarius Wade’s 8-yard TD.
On the lone drive it played from its own side of the field in the second quarter, Oakland needed just one big play to make up the difference — a Stacey swing pass that Cunningham took 65 yards on one of three first-half third downs for the Patriots.
Even the Wolverines’ longest and deepest drive of the first half ended in a big-play score for Oakland. La Vergne drove 55 yards to the Patriot 10 — thanks to a 48-yard pass from C.J. Fore to Mario Dismuke. But a 13-yard sack of Fore by Malek Holman was followed by a vicious hit and forced fumble by Holman. Kevin Prather was there to scoop up the ball at the 10, and he returned it 90 yards for a score with no time left in the first half.
“It was just passion and wanting it more,” Prather said of the team’s defensive effort. “We just tried our best to stay focused and come out hard.”
Elam Miller added a 27-yard field goal for the Patriots in the third quarter, and Jacob Brown scored from the 3 in the fourth quarter.
Fore helped the Wolverines avoid the shutout with a 30-yard touchdown keeper as time expired in the third quarter.
“Just because we don’t get enough yardage doesn’t mean we have to stop fighting,” La Vergne’s Maleik Gray said. “It’s just one of those games. We have to come back harder next week. We have a lot of heart. The thing about us is we’re young and we’ve got years to build on.”