Oakland became the first program in Tennessee high school football history to win three consecutive championships at the Class 6A level on Saturday, defeating Beech 42-6 at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium.
Notes from the game:
How it went down: Oakland scored 28 third-quarter points after leading 14-6 at halftime. Eric Taylor scored three of those touchdowns in addition to his second-quarter score that capped a 16-play, 91-yard drive. Beech’s lone points came on a halfback pass where JP Courtney found Trent Sheely for a 9-yard touchdown. Mason Bell had a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter for the Patriots. Kade Hewitt and Quincy Jackson connected on a 57-yard touchdown late in the third quarter that activated the mercy rule running clock.
Notable numbers: Oakland rushed for 277 yards on 39 attempts, an average of 7.1 yards per carry … The Patriots had two scoring drives of more than four minutes (4:07 on their first touchdown drive, 8:02 on their second), but scored in 1:16 or less on each of their other four touchdown drives … Beech averaged 2.8 yards per rushing attempt on 44 tries, finishing with 121 yards on the ground.
Turning point: Trailing 14-6, Beech’s opening possession of the second half came up short on fourth down inside the Oakland 5-yard line. On the next play, Eric Taylor weaved his way through the Beech defense for an 83-yard gain. Three plays later, Taylor had his second touchdown of the contest and Oakland had a 21-6 lead.
Key performers: Eric Taylor was the game’s Most Valuable Player with 18 carries for 175 yards and four touchdowns … Jerrell Franklin led the Patriot defense with 10 tackles (seven solo), while Nathan Hepborn added eight tackles (two solo) and two tackles for a loss … The Oakland trio of Ethan Burrell, Duce Hewitt and Mharkel Rogers each had six total tackles … In addition to his touchdown run, Mason Bell recovered a fumble and registered three tackles … Darius Johnson led Beech offensively with 22 carries for 122 yards … Noah Watson had seven tackles (four solo) to pace the Buccaneer defense … Caden Theiman and JP Courtney each had six tackles for Beech, while Bronco Hanks added five.