The Oakland Patriots began last week as the No. 25-ranked team in the MaxPreps nationwide high school football rankings.
After dismantling the previously unbeaten Summit Spartans 43-26 on Saturday in the Class 6A BlueCross Bowl Saturday at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga to win their second straight state title, the Patriots should expect to see a significant jump in the standings this week after wrapping up one of the more impressive seasons in Tennessee high school football history.
Summit, which was ranked 98th, was the only other Tennessee high school to be ranked in MaxPreps’ top 100 teams.
“We went through the gauntlet,” Oakland coach Kevin Creasy said. “We played a state champion out of Mississippi. They won it last year, won it again this year. [We] beat CPA, Lipscomb Academy, Summit, South Pittsburg. To be undefeated at the end is impressive.”
In claiming their third state championship in the past four years, the Patriots went through arguably the toughest road in the state to get there. Their schedule included two Tennessee Titans Mr. Football semifinalists and six Mr. Football finalists.
Oakland also stretched its win streak to 30 games, wrapping up back-to-back undefeated state title winning seasons, and ending Summit’s unbeaten streak at 25 games.
To win the state title on Saturday, Oakland, which boasted running back Jordan James, a Georgia commit and 6A Mr. Football finalist, had to go through the other two 6A Mr. Football finalists — Summit’s Destin and Keaten Wade.
Along the road to Chattanooga, the Patriots collected signature wins over several 2020 and 2021 state championship teams including:
- Madison-Ridgeland: 2020 and 2021 Missouri 6A state champion
- Lipscomb Academy: 2021 Division II-AA state champion
- South Pittsburg: 2021 Division 1A state champion
- CPA: 2020 Division II-AA state champion; 2021 runner-up
- Summit: 2020 5A state champion; 2021 state runner-up
Not to mention the Patriots steamrolled 6A semifinalist Hendersonville in the season opener, handed previously unbeaten Riverdale its first loss in Week 8, ran through Class 6A’s No. 8 Lebanon in the state quarterfinals and handed No. 3 Maryville its first home playoff loss in 22 years.
Oakland is one of two current 15-0 teams in the country ranked in the MaxPreps top 100 — Gaffney High School (South Carolina) is the other.
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_