Fast start caps Oakland’s perfect finish

COOKEVILLE — It took a little more than six minutes for Oakland’s offense to assert itself in Saturday’s Class 6A BlueCross Bowl championship game.

Once the Patriots broke the seal, however, the floodgates opened to the tune of 28 points in a span of 6:11 in the first quarter, sending Oakland to a 56-33 victory over Brentwood to cap off the school’s first undefeated season.

Brentwood’s offense eventually found its footing, but by then it was too late as Oakland (15-0) pulled out to a 42-12 halftime lead.

Jordan James garnered Most Valuable Player honors after running for 201 yards and five touchdowns in the first half on 17 carries. James finished with 226 yards and six scores, one touchdown shy of the BlueCross Bowl record set by Beech’s Jalen Hurd back in 2012.

James scored on runs of 2, 3, 4, 5, 59 and 81 yards. Antonio Patterson had touchdown runs of 14 and 31 yards and finished with 176 yards on 18 carries.

“It feels great for everybody,” James said. “I’m not a personal accolades guy, so it just feels good to do what I can for my team.”

Oakland rushed for 468 yards as a team and averaged 10.2 yards per carry.

Brentwood quarterbacks threw five touchdown passes — Cade Granzow tossed three before leaving the game with an injury, then Davis White threw two more in the fourth quarter. Aaron Walton caught three touchdown passes and had 164 yards on six receptions.

Brentwood (11-4) turned the ball over three times in the first half, leading to 15 Oakland points.

“We knew as a program that Oakland was going to put points up,” Merrill said. “We had to throw some shots up that we’re not used to. We had a slow start and it didn’t work out in the end.”

Oakland won its second title under Kevin Creasy and third BlueCross Bowl appearance in his six seasons as head coach.

“Real proud of this team,” Creasy said. “I’m really proud of the players and coaches. Our guys worked as hard as anybody out there. These things don’t come easy. We do have a lot of talented players and I’m very fortunate to be coaching them.”

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