MURFREESBORO -- Cade Law had nowhere to go.
Time for one last play to win it.
But the Patriots stormed Christ Presbyterian Academy with a ferocious pass rush and Korey Smith sacking the Lions quarterback at the 15 to hand CPA a painful 27-24 loss in front of a near-capacity crowd Thursday night.
“I had some pressure off the edge,” Law said. “I tried to turn it around. Should have just thrown it away. It’s all on me.”
The loss ended CPA’s 11-game winning streak in a showdown of previously unbeaten defending state champions.
Oakland (7-0) won its 53rd consecutive home game, rallying from a 10-point deficit in the second quarter.
Trailing 27-24 with 1:31 left, Law led CPA (7-1) on a last-gasp drive from its own 35 to the Oakland 5.
But the Lions fell short against the state’s top-ranked team.
“We’ll be better for it in November, for sure,” said Law, a Vanderbilt baseball commit who passed for 172 yards and rushed for a touchdown.
Oakland’s defense made a goal-line stand in the final seconds just like it did three weeks ago in a win over Lipscomb Academy.
“Eerily similar, eerily similar,” Patriots coach Kevin Creasy said. “Very wild game. Both of them had a quarterback that led a great drive down at the end. Immaculate drive all the way down inside our red zone.
“So if I can get a ticket to watch CPA versus Lipscomb Academy, I will definitely buy one.”
CPA visits Lipscomb in two weeks in a rematch of last year’s Division II-AA championship.
“It was a great football game,” CPA coach Ingle Martin said. “Nothing but respect for them. You know, they’re a No. 1 team for a reason.”
Antonio Patterson scored the winning TD on a 6-yard run to the right, giving Oakland a 27-24 lead with 1:31 left.
That capped a 72-yard drive, giving him 121 rushing yards and two TDs on 16 carries.
“We were just trying to get the ball on the edge, but they played a great defense,” Martin said of the final play. “Kid made a play, so hats off to Oakland. They brought it all, but we’ll learn from it and grow.”
CPA running back Langston Patterson, a Vanderbilt commit at linebacker, rushed for 171 yards and two TDs on 26 carries.
“It’s a true dagger in the heart to come so close so many times,” Patterson said. “Just a couple mental errors on the 1-yard line. It looks like they just sent the dogs in (on the last play.) They made a heck of a play. I don’t even know where he came from.”
With the score tied at 17 midway through the third quarter, CPA drove to the Oakland 1, but Law fumbled on a handoff exchange and Patriots defensive lineman Braxton Myers recovered it.
Oakland drove downfield and Avory Rogers kicked a 35-yard field goal, giving Oakland a 20-17 lead with 2:15 left in the third quarter.
But it was the Patriots’ defense that made the big play when it mattered most, sparking Oakland’s 22nd straight victory.
“(Defensive coordinator Steven) Jackson made another great play call right there at the end,” Creasy said. “Jackson was the guy that made the huge call to stop Lipscomb from scoring, so we’re real proud that he went all out knowing that the quarterback was really dangerous to pull it down. But they didn’t have any more timeouts left.”
Oakland defensive end Theron Gaines said the Patriots’ mindset was “see ball, get ball, just be aggressive” on the last play.
“(Jackson) said last couple of plays be a dog,” Gaines said. “We weren’t really worried. Coach Jackson always says bend, don’t break.”
Oakland’s Jordan James, a Georgia commit and a former Brentwood Academy running back, rushed for 154 yards on 24 carries as he came on strong in the second half.
Patriots quarterback Kade Hewitt scored on a 1-yard keeper on Oakland’s first possession, giving the hosts a 7-0 lead.
The Patriots’ got the ball on CPA’s 30 after Stephen Ellison intercepted a Law pass that bounced off a Lions receiver’s hands.
“They have a Patterson that wants to win real bad; we have a Patterson that wants to win real bad,” Creasy said. “They have a Cade that wants to win real bad; we have a Kade that wants to win real bad.”
Law bulled his way into the end zone on a 7-yard TD run that gave CPA a 24-20 lead with 7:21 left, capping a 67-yard drive.
Oakland’s Isaiah Horton, a 6-foot-3 Miami commit, made four catches for 49 yards.
Ryan Rinker’s 36-yard field goal gave CPA a 17-7 lead with 1:54 left in the first half.
But Oakland tied it at 17 after Rogers’ 36-yard field goal late in the first half and Antonio Patterson’s 27-yard TD run when he stiff-armed a CPA defender at the 10.
Martin has led CPA to the state semifinals or better during each of first 10 years, including three state championships and two runner-up finishes.
“We’ve got nothing but games that matter after this, so all the non-region games are over,” Martin said. “We’re excited to get back into region play.”
Oakland has won two state titles and finished second once under Creasy.
CPA: Bye next week.
Oakland: Hosts archrival Riverdale in a showdown that will probably determine the Region 4-6A champion next Friday, Oct. 15.