Timely stops and solid offensive schemes helped the Oakland Patriots (4-0, 1-0) pull away late in the second half to win their 34th game in a row 45-31 over the Ravenwood Raptors (2-2, 1-0) on the road Friday night.
“There is an expectation to win,” said Oakland head coach Kevin Creasy. “I don’t think we are quite as talented as we have been in recent years, but our standard is to compete with whoever we play against. I think the standard was set a long time ago, and we want to make the guys that came before us proud of our effort.”
“I think we play as a team,” said Oakland senior quarterback Kade Hewitt. “The approach of starting over every single week is big for our program. We grow every single week.”
“What you saw tonight was an amazing high school football game,” said Ravenwood head coach Will Hester. “I am proud of the way the kids played. Did we win the game? No, but we played Ravenwood football for four quarters. I am excited about the next six weeks, trying to earn our way into the playoffs with this team.”
“Coach Hester and Coach Duncan had a really good game plan,” said Ravenwood senior quarterback Chris Parson. “We started off hot and did a good job in the first half. We just did not finish.
"Against a good team like Oakland, you have got to play sound football all four quarters," Parson continued. "We made some costly mistakes at the end that ended up hurting us. You do not win 34 games in a row without being very well coached. They flew around and played a very good football game tonight.”
On their first possession, Ravenwood marched down the field and got on the board as Mississippi State commit Chris Parson dove his way into the end zone from seven yards out to give the Raptors a 7-0 lead.
Oakland answered 23 seconds later in the first quarter with an electric 31-yard touchdown rush by sophomore running back Tamari Hill to tie the game at 7.
With a little under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, Hewitt capped off the Oakland drive with a three-yard rushing touchdown to give the Patriots a 14-7 advantage.
Ravenwood answered back on their next possession, concluding the balanced offensive drive with a five-yard rushing touchdown by junior Carter Pace to tie the game at 14.
Oakland broke the stalemate with 8:20 remaining in the first half as junior kicker Jacob Taylor hit a field goal to give the Patriots a 17-14 margin.
The Raptors grabbed the lead 21-17 with a drive ending in a 10-yard rushing touchdown by Parson at 3:27 remaining in the first half.
Ravenwood extended their lead with a field goal by senior kicker Alex Callanen to stay ahead 24-17 with one minute to go in the first half.
Oakland tied the game on the final play of the first half with a three-yard touchdown run by Hewitt to go into halftime tied at 24.
“He reminds me of and is our version of Tim Tebow,” said Kreasy. “He can get it done through the air and with his legs.”
The Patriots executed a lengthy possession on the first drive of the second half that was capped off by a seven-yard touchdown from running back Hill for his second score of the game. This gave Oakland the 31-24 advantage in the middle of the third quarter.
Oakland’s offense continued to surge with less than two minutes in the third quarter as Hewitt completed a 30-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-12 to stretch the Patriots margin to 38-24.
“It was a great play call,” said Hewitt. “They made a great move, and we were able to make a huge play.”
Ravenwood kept within striking distance early in the fourth quarter as they clawed back with an eight-yard rushing touchdown by Pace to cut into the deficit 38-31.
“(Carter)Pace and (Chris)Parson played super well and are some of our bell cows on the offensive side,” said Hester. “Clearly we keep expecting them to do big things.”
Oakland added to the lead on their next drive that ended with a 10-yard scamper by senior running back Cj Puckett to give the Patriots a 45-31 margin.
Ravenwood had a chance to cut into the lead but could not get anything going on their final possession. Oakland’s defense held strong to win 45-31.
“There was a couple of occasions where our defense came up big and made some big stops,” said Creasy. “A lot of credit goes to our linebacking core that made some huge plays.”
“I give credit to Coach Cam and the defense,” said Hewitt. “They made plays when they needed to against a really good Chris Parson.”
Oakland will take on Siegel next Friday.
“Siegel beat a heck of a Lebanon team,” said Creasy. “Lebanon is probably going to win their region, and Siegel beat them in overtime. We know that we have our hands full.”
Ravenwood will host the “Battle of the Woods” vs Brentwood next week.
“Battle of the Woods is a big time game,” said Parson. “Everyone in Williamson County and the Brentwood area knows what this game means, especially to the Ravenwood community. I am looking forward to it. We went to their stadium and got the dub last year. I am sure they are going to come out and play their hardest game.”