(Photos and highlights by Teran Malone)
NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — Big plays have been a staple of Oak Glen throughout the 2020 season.
An offense that’s accounted for at least 35 points in every Golden Bears’ win has made a habit of scoring points in bunches, and the unit proved to be too much for Herbert Hoover in Saturday’s Class AA quarterfinal. The Golden Bears racked up 610 total yards and got five touchdowns from Hunter Patterson to race past the Huskies, 53-26, and advance to a Class AA semifinal.
“We’re a momentum team and we have some really explosive kids,” Golden Bears’ coach Ted Arneault said. “When they get going and they get out in space, they’re hard to stop. That’s our job as coaches to try to get those kids out in space as best we can. Our offensive line got it done again today and our defense held strong as well. Stopping the big plays and being able to exploit them is a key to victory.”
Oak Glen will face the winner of Sunday’s matchup between Robert C. Byrd-Elkins in a semifinal next week.
Four of Patterson’s touchdowns came in the opening half — two rushing and two receiving — to help the fourth-seeded Golden Bears (8-1) open up a 41-10 halftime lead.
“They have great players and you can’t do anything about that,” Hoover coach Joey Fields said.
On Oak Glen’s opening series of the second half, Patterson accounted for his fifth and final TD of the contest — a 75-yard run on his team’s second play from scrimmage following the intermission.
Patterson rushed for 203 yards while adding four catches for 132 yards. His 6-yard run 3:40 into the action allowed Oak Glen to lead 7-0, though Hoover (6-3) got even at 7 when Nick Grayam crossed the goal line on a 2-yard run at the 4:44 mark of the first quarter.
Nick Chaney threw his first of four touchdown passes — a 4-yard connection with Gage Patterson — to put the Golden Bears on top 13-7 at the 1:45 mark of the first.
On the final play of the opening quarter, Chaney connected with Hunter Patterson for a 62-yard touchdown pass and the floodgates had opened.
Hunter Patterson’s 68-yard run in the second quarter stretched the Golden Bears’ advantage to 27-7, before a 25-yard field goal by Levi Paxton allowed the Huskies to cut the deficit to 17 4:24 before halftime.
However, the Golden Bears put the game out of reach moments later as Chaney found Gage Patterson behind the defense for an 86-yard scoring strike, and then hooked up with Hunter Patterson on a 46-yard TD pass to send Oak Glen into halftime with a 41-10 lead.
“They were playing the run really strong and it allowed some play-action passing opportunities to open up,” Arneault said. “I think they wanted to stop the sweep and we were able to exploit some of their overstacking the box on a certain side to open up some big plays. It’s great our kids were able to execute that and it’s hard to execute play-action sometimes.”
After Hunter Patterson’s 75-yard TD run 3:41 into the third quarter, the Golden Bears got one more touchdown — a 17-yard pass from Gage Patterson to Kholton Goodlin.
Hoover accounted for the final two touchdowns of the game on a pair of Grayam passes — 56 yards to Tyler Greer and 33 yards to Jacob Burns.
Chaney completed 10-of-11 passes for 304 yards and four TDs.
“We had busted coverage and got our eyes in the backfield,” Fields said. “We had coverage miscues that we really hadn’t had all year. But we continued to have the same penalties we’ve had all year and against a good team there’s less margin for error.”
Grayam passed for 229 yards and completed 13-of-26 throws. Grayam also rushed for 101 yards on 29 carries in the season-ending setback.