Patriots stop CPA drive as time runs out in back-and-forth tilt between defending state champions
MURFREESBORO – A familiar scene played out at Ray Hughes Stadium on Thursday evening.
It also had a familiar ending.
Oakland’s defense stopped CPA with time running out to preserve a 27-24 victory and improve to 7-0 on the season.
Korey Smith sacked Cade Law on the final play to end CPA’s chances after the Lions drove down the field in the game’s final 90 seconds.
“Korey Smith was one of our stud freshman running backs last year,” Oakland head coach Kevin Creasy said. “Coach (Stephen) Jackson called it again, he knew what was going to happen. We got a good look at what they were going to do and we got the right personnel on the field.”
Antonio Patterson put the Patriots up for good with a 6-yard TD run with 1:36 to play.
CPA led 17-7 late in the first half on two Langston Patterson touchdowns and a Ryan Riker field goal before Avory Rogers hit a 41-yard field goal to pull the Patriots within seven at halftime.
Antonio Patterson found the end zone from 27 yards to tie the game in the third quarter.
CPA drove to the Oakland 1-yard line before a fumbled handoff from Law to Langston Patterson ended the scoring threat. Oakland took the lead on the next series with a 35-yard field goal from Rogers.
“I thought I was handing it off to Langston, that’s on me,” Law said of the fumble. “I saw the play wrong.”
Law didn’t let the Lions stay behind for long, however, calling his own number from seven yards out with 7:21 to play as CPA took a 24-20 lead. Law finished with 50 rushing yards on 11 carries in addition to 168 yards through the air.
“This team, we fight through anything,” Law said. “We had some turnovers that caused us to stumble a bit, but one thing we didn’t do was give up. We were in it until the end. It sucks the way it ended, but we learned a lot, we fought really hard and it’s going to make us better in November.”
Langston Patterson rushed for 176 yards and a pair of scores on 26 carries.
“We learned that our kids will fight, that’s the biggest thing,” CPA head coach Ingle Martin said. “For us, we were looking for great effort and we got that tonight. We’ve got nothing to be disappointed about. I know they’re disappointed because they didn’t win, but (Oakland) is the No. 1 team for a reason. They’ve got great players and unbelievable coaching staff. Their players are where they need to be every play.”
Antonio Patterson (15 carries, 120 yards) and Jordan James (23 carries, 143 yards) took turns bringing the Patriots back down the field, with Patterson extending the drive on a fourth-and-1 from CPA’s 10-yard line before scoring the eventual game-winner.
“They’re a hard-nosed group and a very physical group,” James said of the CPA defense. “We just had to match their (physicality).”
“On our last drive, we ran behind two sophomore linemen, Deuce Hewitt and Jake Riggs,” Creasy said. “Everybody says ‘you can’t ever get on the field until you’re a senior at Oakland.’ No, if you’re good enough, you play.”
It was a similar ending to Oakland’s 29-21 win over Lipscomb Academy two weeks earlier.
The Lions travel to Lipscomb Academy on Oct. 22 and Creasy left no doubt in comparing the two Division II-AA powers after seeing them up close and personal.
“I don’t know what a ticket runs at Lipscomb Academy, but I’d be willing to pay it to go see those two play,” Creasy said.
Oakland, meanwhile, has an extra day to prepare for their annual rivalry game with region foe Riverdale on Oct. 15.