We had a battle of unbeatens in the 6A semifinals with Oakland going up against Maryville. These teams have faced each other three times in the past three years, including this matchup, and Maryville has won every opportunity, so would tonight be any different?
Maryville averaged just over 45 points a contest coming into this game, but the Oakland defense has been spectacular, only allowing one team to score more than 7 points against them.
Early in the first quarter, Michael Roper would score to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead.
Both defenses locked in after that, forcing three-and-out after three-and-out, but late in the second quarter, Oakland is able to get something going. The Patriots decide to get a bit risky, going for it on 4th and goal, but T.D. Blackmon isn't having any of that. He shuts the play down in the backfield, swinging momentum back to the Rebels. Could they capitalize?
With less than a minute left in the first half, Dylan Hopkins and the offense march down the length of the field. Two seconds left before halftime, Hopkins tosses up a prayer toward the end zone and Byron Brown is there to make a play! He snatches the tipped ball, Maryville scores on the Hail Mary and ties the game at seven.
The 2nd half however, was a much different story. Oakland's speed, coupled with turnovers by Maryville, was too much for the team to handle. The Rebels lose to Oakland, 23-7.
Head coach George Quarles gave all the credit to the Patriots.
"They were just better than us tonight," said Quarles. "It just wasn't our night, but give them a lot of credit, they're a very good team. We've had an amazing run to get to the state championship games however many times in a row, but it's just one of those nights."
"You know it's going to end at some point, you just hate it for these guys."
Oakland will play Whitehaven in the 6A state finals next Saturday.