MURFREESBORO — Brendan Matthews showed off his passing game on a rainy Friday night and second-ranked Oakland routed William Blount 49-7 at Ray Hughes Stadium to open the TSSAA Class 6A playoffs.
Matthews was 9-of-11 passing for a season-best 275 yards with four touchdowns — all in the first half on a sloppy field.
“Those are the best times to do it, I guess,” Matthews said. “It’s good practice for everybody.”
Oakland (10-1) will be host to Riverdale (6-5) at 7 p.m. next Friday in the second round. Oakland defeated Riverdale 43-14 three weeks ago.
Austin Myrick capped a 67-yard drive when he hit Chase Nuchols with a 38-yard touchdown to give William Blount (2-9) an early 7-0 lead. However, that was about all the Patriots gave up. William Blount finished with just 201 total yards. Myrich led the Governors with 179 yards on 13 of 23 passing.
“We changed some things up offensively — was run, pass option — depending on the box they gave us,” said William Blount first-year coach Philip Shadowens, a Rutherford County native, who won back-to-back state titles at Smyrna. “We were able to hit them early. We just couldn’t tackle them, couldn’t block them. They were just a much better football team than we were.”
Oakland finished the game with 483 total yards, including 208 yards on the ground. The Patriots didn’t attempt a pass in the second half, which had a running clock.
“That’s usually a good thing, if you’re not throwing passes in the second half,” Oakland coach Kevin Creasy said. “We know there is going to be a time when we’re going to have to be able to throw it. This was a good night to work on that.”
LSU commitment JaCoby Stevens, a Class 6A Mr. Football semifinalist, caught three passes — all touchdowns — for 102 yards. Teammate Mark Pruitt had four catches for 120 yards.
Matthews answered William Blount’s score with a 60-yard TD pass to Stevens on the Patriots’ first offensive snap.
“We’ve always had a good passing game,” Stevens said. “Brendan Matthews threw the ball around and coach Creasy called the right plays. They put me in a situation where I couldn’t mess it up. I wasn’t going to do that.”
Lazarius Patterson, who had just 22 yards on six carries, scored on touchdown runs of 4 and 1 to make it 21-7 with 10:44 left in the first half. Stevens had touchdown catches of 13 and 30 with a Cameron Massengill 36-yard TD pass between them.
Kendrick Johnson ended the scoring with an 8-yard TD run. He finished with a team-high 93 yards on just three carries.
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 and on Twitter @Kreager.