HENDERSONVILLE - The Oakland Patriots flexed their muscles in a big way Friday night in Hendersonville as the defending 6A champions throttled the Commandos 59-0.
Anything and everything went right for Kevin Creasy’s team, while the opposite happened for James Beasley’s bunch.
On their second drive of the game, Oakland’s BJ Connard raced 72 yards for the score weaving in-and-out of the Commandos defense for the early lead.
Oakland place kicker Michael Turk nailed his first of eight extra-points on the night for the 7-0 lead.
Hendersonville looked to be putting momentum together on its second drive of the game, taking the ball to inside the Oakland 15-yard line. Following three rushing plays that yielded zero yards, the Commandos trotted out Andrew Martin for his only field goal attempt of the game.
Creating a solid push from the defensive line, Oakland blocked the kick, then safety Dejon Glaster caught the ball out of the air and raced 85 yards for the score and the 14-0 advantage.
Things only got worse from there for Hendersonville. Trailing 17-0 with the ball on their 25-yard line, Commando quarterback Drew Hohenbrink threw an out route to the sideline, only it was to Patriot corner and Ole Miss commit De’Arre McDonald who caught the pass and raced 35-yards for the score and the 24-0 Oakland lead.
“Our defense put us in a good position all night long,” Oakland coach Kevin Creasy said. “We were getting the ball in their territory with a short field. I thought our special teams did a nice job tonight as well. We had two big scores on defense and a big score on special teams and are happy about that. We are not nearly as happy as we should be and still have a long ways to go.”
Connard added to his 72 first-quarter yards with runs of 10, 20 and 25 yards on his way to 125 yards in the first half.
“I thought BJ tore it up tonight and was having a great performance,” Creasy added. “He suffered a little bit of an ankle injury so that forced some other guys to step up, but sometimes that is how it goes. Luckily, we have a little depth, but we are starting to run out.”
The Patriots claimed a 31-0 lead at the half, but Creasy wanted to see more out of his first-team unit in the final 24 minutes.
“I thought our offensive line was being really passive in the first half,” he said. “So, we wanted to come out better in the second hand and establish ourselves. I thought we did a much better job of that in the second half.”
The first two Patriots drives in the second half were heavily aided by Hendersonville not being able to snap the ball correctly on back-to-back punts.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on moving forward,” Beasley said. “We can’t turn the ball over and we can’t have special teams’ mistakes like we did tonight. If we are going to beat some teams on our schedule we are going to have to play better than that. We just made way too many mistakes. You can’t win like that.”
Oakland extended its lead to 45-0 gaining just six yards between the two series.
Glaster scored his second touchdown of the game on a scoop-and-score fumble 50-yards from the end zone for the emphatic 52-0 lead with nine minutes left in the game.
The Patriots put the nail in the coffin with 5:48 left when backup running back Brandon Connard scored Oakland’s seventh touchdown of the game.
“We just got to continue to get a little better each day,” Creasy said. “If we can just get better each day, and continue to work on the little things I like our chances.”
Unofficially, Oakland finished the game with 487 total yards while the Commandos mustered just 117 yards.