MURFREESBORO — Wilson Central has suffered two shutouts over the last 12 games. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, both were in the first round of the TSSAA Class 6A playoffs.
Last year it was a 35-0 loss to Brentwood, Friday night it was a 41-0 defeat at Oakland’s Ray Hughes Stadium.
Oakland followed up its first-ever undefeated regular season by posting its first playoff win since 2009. Wilson Central (6-5) is still looking for its first postseason win since 2008.
Behind four Fred Wade touchdowns, and a defense that allowed the Wildcats to cross the Patriot 40 just once, Oakland moves on to face rival Siegel in round two. The Stars were 54-14 winners at Antioch Friday.
Wade carried the ball 13 times for 209 yards, and posted touchdown runs of 73, 5 and 10 in the first half. His final carry was a 58-yard score in the third quarter for the Patriots’ fifth and final touchdown of the game.
Oakland’s defense forced three straight three-and-out series to begin the game. Wade capitalized on all three with touchdowns.
The momentum of the game turned almost immediately. Preston Reed recorded two sacks in the first three plays of the game, and Oakland was forced to punt from it’s own goal line.
However, a roughing the punter penalty called on Blake Lea allowed the Patriots to keep possession. One play later, Wade was in from 73 yards out for what proved to be the game-winner.
“That blocked punt really hurt us,” senior Kaleb Butler said. “If we got that, something could have been different. It snowballed down after that and was downhill.”
Instead, Wilson Central was held to 108 yards of offense, and no Wildcat had more on the ground than Butler’s 16 yards on seven carries.
“We felt good coming in and felt like we had a good scheme against them,” Butler said. “They’re very fast and very well coached. We thought we could pick it up on offense, but they’re good.”
The Wildcats did not record a first down until 7:22 was left in the second quarter. Wilson Central converted two third downs thanks to offsides penalties, and its longest play of the night — a 28-yard pass from Jordan Roundtree to Zack Dover — placed the ball at the 33. Three plays later, Curtis Gaines wrapped up Roundtree on a fourth-and-8 at the 31 for no gain, and that was as deep as the Wildcats could get.
Two plays into the second half, Austin Barrett came out of the pile with a fumble recovery for Oakland, and Rhett Stacey needed just one pass to find Kyle Oliver for a 19-yard score.
After forcing their second turnover on downs in three series, the Patriots regained possession at their own 40. Three straight first downs setup another Stacey-to-Oliver score — this one from 23 yards.