SMYRNA – Oakland followed a summer of hype with two quarters of near-perfect football during a 41-0 throttling of Mount Juliet in the Rutherford County Jamboree at Smyrna’s Robert L. Raikes Stadium on Friday.
The Patriots, who play at Blackman on ESPN2 on Sunday, Aug. 24 (11 a.m.), racked up nearly 300 total yards and 17 first downs in the rout.
“I think it went wonderful,” Patriots sophomore JaCoby Stevens said. “We approached it like it was a real game. We came out and did what we wanted to do.”
Stevens, a wide receiver and defensive back, scored one of Oakland’s six touchdowns on the night. He caught a 24-yard pass from quarterback Cody Miller for the Patriots’ second score.
Senior running back Josh Cunningham scored the game’s first touchdown on the Patriots’ opening drive. He capped the 70-yard scoring march with a 12-yard run in which he vaulted over a defender at the goal line. He finished with a game-high 89 yards on nine carries.
Oakland rotated quarterbacks all night and after Stevens’ touchdown catch, starting quarterback Christian Haffner got in on the scoring action by finding senior tight end Kyle Oliver for a 15-yard score and a 21-0 lead.
The Patriots never looked back after that, finishing with 279 yards on the night, including 176 on the ground.
Miller and Haffner combined to finish the game 6-for-10 passing for 103 yards and two scores for Oakland.
“I really don’t know which one is better,” Stevens said of the two quarterbacks. “They are both really playing well right now and I think both guys can help us win games.”
Backup running backs Lazarius Patterson – on a 4-yard run – and Zarius Gamble – on a 70-yard run as time expired – added two touchdowns in the second quarter.
Alex Russell also scored a touchdown on a 49-yard interception return with 4:32 to play in the two-quarter game.
Defensively, Oakland held the Golden Bears to five first downs and just 46 yards of total offense.
“We’re a young football team, and that’s not to make excuses because Oakland is a really good and really talented football team,” Mt. Juliet coach Trey Perry said. “We had some good things happen tonight early. The negative was when we put other people in there, we expect them to be able to make plays and that’s when things came unraveled for us tonight. When we started to put some of the backups in tonight, they didn’t make plays.”
Contact Will Borthick at 615-278-5167 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @willborthick.