Oakland, which dominated its opponents from the start to nearly the finish last year, opened 2017 in similarly impressive fashion.
The Patriots shut down the powerful Independence offense and had its way with the Eagles on the ground in a 38-6 whipping in Friday night’s season opener in Murfreesboro.
It was a terrific night for Oakland’s ground game. Senior running back Jeron Rooks topped 100 yards, and Mookie Wilson and Timmy Goodrich each ran for two scores.
Wilson scored on a 21-yard scoring run with 8:46 left in the third quarter his second of the evening, giving the Patriots a 30-6 lead.
Then, Rooks added a long scoring run midway through the fourth quarter for a 37-6 lead. It was his 12th carry for 141 yards.
Goodrich, the quarterback, started the scoring with a 42-yard scoring scamper in the first quarter. Kicker Aaron Sears set a Tennessee state record with his 107th-consecutive point-after to give the Patriots a 7-0 advantage.
Oakland defensive linemen Nas Travis picked off a pass and returned it inside the 20 late in the first quarter, setting up a short Sears field goal.
Wilson scored on a one-yard run touchdown run with 8:27 left in the first half. That score was set up by a first-down run from Rooks.
Goodrich added another long touchdown run with 3:20 left in the first half. He had 120 yards rushing in the first half alone.
Independence finally got on the board with 1:33 left before half when Isaiah Collier caught 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nathan Cisco, cutting the score to 24-6 at the break.
But Oakland did a terrific job controlling the game on the ground, and holding Independence’s star receiving duo of T.J. Sheffield and Kendrell Scurry down.