Second-ranked Oakland enters its second Class 6A state semifinal in as many years. However, this year’s playoff run has come with a new coach in Kevin Creasy, a new coaching staff, a new offensive and defensive scheme and several new faces.
Here are five Patriots to watch Friday night at Shields Stadium when second-ranked Oakland faces top-ranked Maryville.
Stevens, a four-star college prospect, does a little bit of everything for the second-ranked Patriots.
Oakland coach Kevin Creasy has called him a playmaker.
Stevens, a Class 6A Mr. Football finalist, leads the team in receiving (32 catches for 806 yards with 11 TDs). He is a threat in the backfield in Oakland’s wildcat package with three rushing touchdowns. At safety, he has 73 tackles with five interceptions and two recovered fumbles.
Nix, a Class 6A Mr. Football semifinalist, is a three-year starter for the Patriots.
Nix has 65 tackles with 19.5 for loss this season. He also has five sacks. He’s played primarily at defensive end, but has moved inside at times. Nix’s tackle numbers may be down a little from past years, however, he’s been slowed slightly due to a shoulder injury.
He’s also playing both ways. He’s a tight end on offense with a catch for 33 yards.
Patterson, a junior running back, has picked up steam has the season has advanced. The first-year starter has 1,326 yards on 198 carries this season with 19 touchdown.
It took him a short period to catch on to the Oakland Wing-T offense.
Patterson has scored five touchdowns in the postseason.
Cauthen, a first-year starter at linebacker, has become the Patriots’ quarterback on defense.
He has 141 total tackles with four interceptions.
He’s thrived due to the Patriots’ dominant play up front.
Pruitt has been a key defensive cog at corner for the Patriots. He brings experience to the corner back position and will likely be tested by Maryville quarterback Dylan Hopkins.
He may be asked to slow down Maryville receiver Kelby Brock.
Pruitt has 56 tackles and two interceptions this season. He also has 14 catches for 257 yards this season.
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.