Mt Juliet vs Oakland – High School Football Playoffs – Week 2
November 10, 2023
Mount Juliet made it crystal clear how they were going to attack the Patriots’ defense, lining up in tight sets with nearly everyone on the line and running the ball with a “try to stop us” attitude with even a full back getting in on the playoff action. Unfortunately for the Golden Bears, a fumble did stop them on a drive where they had been imposing their will for the most part. After a long drive where Oakland returned the favor of physicality, Mount Juliet was able to hold the three-peat state champions to just a field goal and Oakland opened up the scoring with just under four minutes to go in the first quarter. That score would remain through the end of the quarter with Oakland threatening to extend it.
An interception on a fourth and long kept Oakland from building on that lead but a strip fumble on the next play gave the ball right back to the Patriots, and we continued the back and forth in this physical matchup on a cold November Middle Tennessee night. After just three plays, Oakland added the first touchdown of the night to their score and led 10-0 with seven minutes remaining in the first half after a Daune Morris (who was recently offered by Tennessee) touchdown run.
During the ensuing Mount Juliet drive, a scary moment occurred as Harrison Edwards was down for an extended period of time with the team gathered around him and the stretcher was brought out. However, the good news is I’m told he was awake and much of the to-do was precautionary.
After a failed field goal attempt by Oakland and a one-minute drill drive that went nowhere for Mount Juliet, both teams headed to the locker rooms with the Patriots leading the Bears 10-7.
Oakland started the second half like a team that had won three straight state championships as Daune Morris took it 75 to the house and, just like that, the Pats led 17-0. The Bears responded with their best drive of the night. Taking up around nine minutes, Mount Juliet scratched and clawed their way to the one-yard line and facing fourth and one pitched the ball to the outside. The play was swallowed up and the Bears turned the ball over on downs on what felt like a crucial play. No points were scored in the third and we entered the fourth quarter with Oakland leading 17-0.
The Golden Bears’ defense got the stop they needed to open the fourth quarter but even better than that for Mount Juliet was the bad snap on Oaklands’ punt that sent the ball into the endzone for a Golden Bear safety making the score 17-2 Oakland. With just over ten minutes to go, Mount Juliet faced a 15-point deficit with the ball in hand. With nine minutes to go the Bears faced a fourth and long they couldn’t overcome and time was now running out on the Bear’s season. Oakland, fully aware of this, was more than happy to chew clock. Not only did they chew clock, but moved the ball while doing so. Morris plunged into the endzone from the wildcat QB position leaving just 2:01 on the clock and extending the Patriots lead to 22. You can watch the touchdown below
The remaining time was now just a formality as Oakland started to celebrate on the sideline. Oakland kneeled the ball and the sideline started to count down the seconds until the Patriots officially had a date with Riverdale in a Battle of the Boro rematch. The clock hit 0:00 and Oakland got out of Mount Juliet with a 24-2 victory.
Our MVP of the night is Oakland wideout Daune Morris. Daune had all three Oakland touchdowns on the night which included a 75-yard sprint past the entire Golden Bears defense. You can hear what he had to say postgame below