The Oakland Patriots fell short in their quest for a fourth straight class 6A state championship on December 2. Simply outplayed by a hot Houston team from West Tennessee, the 24-9 loss and a mean dose of mother nature was perhaps a bit humbling. But in reality, the agony of defeat shouldn’t last too long for a program that has been more than dominant for almost a decade.
Just to lend a little perspective to the ways of Patriot football, let’s examine the last eight years. Since 2016, Oakland has played in six Class 6A title tilts and won four of them. Heading into the 2023 clash with Houston, their combined margin of victory in the four previous championship games they had won was 178- 65. The previous loss in 2016 to Whitehaven was by a 12-9 score. The contest with Houston was in question until about four minutes remained so that means Oakland is really about two scores from six crowns since 2016. Hmmmm.
Of course, expectations have been created by this enormous wave of success. For the past three seasons, the Patriots have been able to do what they do with no real concerns about the opposition. Nearly flawless execution and pinpoint fundamentals landed four gold football trophies in the case. The game with Houston, however, was a little different. Physical and with a multi-faceted offense, the Mustangs ended the Patriot party.
Yes, Oakland expected to win a fourth consecutive State title and most others thought the same thing. The fact they didn’t does not tarnish that second silver ball they have acquired since 2016. What this loss does provide is the perspective that as in the game of life, winning is not easy. Success shouldn’t be taken for granted and this current Oakland run is something all Patriots can be proud of.