In the first season with no Rutherford County Jamboree, La Vergne played host Friday night to two other county teams, Oakland and Siegel, as well as Montgomery Bell Academy.
"We called around and heard that everyone else was having a jamboree game and we were kind of stuck out in the cold," said Oakland coach Kevin Creasy. "We reached out to MBA and they were looking for a jamboree. We thought about hosting ourselves, but then La Vergne invited us over to keep up the Rutherford County jamboree and we thought it was a great idea."
The first game featured an interesting rare matchup between Oakland and the MBA Big Red. The Patriots were able to edge out a 14-7 win over the Division II power. It was a good final tune-up for Oakland going into next week's televised season opener against Independence.
"It's kind of like a dress rehearsal," said Creasy. "It's like polishing up and getting ready to see what you're really about for next week. It's not about the score. It's about putting people in a position to show you if they can play or not."
One player who took full advantage of his chance to showcase was sophomore running back Tim Pannell, who came in on the first play of the second quarter with the first team and took one into the end zone from 15 yards out.
"I get some reps with the ones (starters) in practice," said Pannell, "but mostly I play junior varsity. It felt good. I got a lot of respect from my team. They really help me out, especially the linemen."
Oakland platooned at quarterback with Brevin Linnell and Timmy Goodrich splitting even time. However, the Patriots kept the game on the ground between running backs Cameron Snelling, Lontavious Wilson and Malik Marshall, who combined for almost 100 yards on 11 carries, including a 13-yard touchdown for Marshall.
The Patriot defense forced two turnovers, including one on the goal line late that prevented the Big Red from tying the game.
In game two of the night, Siegel shut out host La Vergne 14-0. Perhaps bigger than the victory for the Stars was the early success of Nashville Christian transfer Lelan Wilhoite, who has been with the team less than three weeks but making his presence known.
"I feel like things are coming together, especially after only three weeks," said Wilhoite. "Coach (Michael) Copley really knows what he's talking about and we've got good guys on our team. And I have to give it up for my O-line blocking for me. Coming in learning from him (Copley) and other players feels great, like a brotherhood."
The Stars went to Wilhoite on 10 of 17 plays offensively. He caught two passes and had 84 yards rushing, including a 55-yard touchdown run, and also had a 35-yard touchdown called back for a holding penalty.
"Coach told me I would be a big part of the offense," said Wilhoite, who rushed for over 1,200 yards last season. "But he didn't sugar coat anything. He said I would have to earn my position and I wouldn't be treated differently than any of his players."
The Siegel passing game also looked sharp. Brendan Crowell was 4 of 5 for 50 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown strike to Jamal Barrett.
A stingy Stars defense forced two punts and two turnover-on-downs on the Wolverines four possessions. The swarming Siegel defense held La Vergne quarterback Keianthony Conner to 3 of 11 passing, and against the run, forced negative yardage on five of 11 attempts.
LaVergne faces rival Smyrna next week in their opener, and Siegel hosts Stewarts Creek.