MURFREESBORO — The jet sweep and the power run up the middle.
These were the two plays which Oakland used time after time to drive downfield against Riverdale throughout the first half of their second-round TSSAA playoff game Friday.
The Patriots defeated the Warriors 54-7 to advance to the quarterfinals to face Smyrna.
Oakland’s rushing game couldn’t be stopped in the first half. The Patriots didn’t punt and only stopped themselves once, with a fumble. The Patriots accumulated 312 total yards in the first half, 180 in the air and 132 on the ground.
“We were really happy with how our offensive line blocked and our running backs ran really hard,” first-year Oakland coach Kevin Creasy said.
The Patriots made a statement on their second touchdown drive. After a Riverdale punt was downed on the 1, the Patriots responded by driving it 99 yards to make it 14-0. They did it in 15 plays, and 14 of them were running plays.
“They dominated the game, let’s not sugarcoat it,” Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott said. “They whipped us. Obviously, we knew this was going to be a tall task. We hoped to get out of the gate a little bit better.”
Lazarius Patterson had 112 yards rushing in the first half and finished with 116 overall to lead the Patriots.
“We knew it was going to be open, cause it worked last game,” Patterson said of the run game. “We watched film on them.”
The success of the running game opened up the Oakland passing game. Brendan Matthews was 10-of-15 passing in the first half for 180 yards and two touchdowns.
While Oakland’s offense was accumulating yards, the Patriots’ defense was dominating as well. Oakland limited Riverdale to 15 first-half yards and 53 for the game.
Oakland outscored Riverdale 31-7 in the second quarter to take a 38-7 halftime lead.