by Danny Brewer
A quick glance at the final score of the Oakland-Riverdale third round playoff game kinda says “blowout”. But those in attendance understand the game was still highly in question over halfway into the fourth quarter, That was until Patriot coach Kevin Creasy put on his chef’s hat.
Rolling into the third quarter of a post-season edition of the battle for the Boro, it appeared as though the Patriots were in complete control. Using all facets of their game, Oakland was leading their crosstown rival 26-0. Refusing to go down without a fight, Riverdale put up two scores and trailed 26-14. With a little more than five minutes left in the contest and all their timeouts remaining, the Warriors were far from scalped.
Normally in a situation like this, a coach will implore a game plan to “not lose” the game. Run the ball, try and eat some clock, and depend on the defense. A turn of events, however, caused the highly successful Patriot leader to make a trip to the kitchen and deliver the dessert.
With 4:59 remaining and the clock stopped the call was made. Backed up on their own 10 yard line after a penalty, Oakland faced a “second down and Shelbyville” situation. Those that have seen the crafty Creasy in action would normally think a run was in order to keep the clock rolling. The Patriots had made their cake with a nice balanced offense predicated on running the football. A staple of his winning ways, the sixth year Oakland leader believes in the basics.
Lining up in a box stacking formation, Riverdale looked to stuff their rivals, get the ball back and make a real game of it. But wait a minute, the Patriots emptied the backfield in a field spreading formation. Surely the conservative thinking Creasy would not pass in this situation. When you throw it three things can happen and two of them are bad. A pass would go against the “not lose a fourth quarter lead” theory.
This is where Duncan Hines jumped to the forefront. Creasy made a daring call as he was looking to “win” the game. From the spread formation, star running back Jordan James slipped into a wide-open section in the middle of the field and hauled in a perfect strike from quarterback Ian Schlacter. After juking a would-be tackler, James jolted 90 yards to paydirt. Now up three scores with under five minutes to play, the Fat Lady began warming up the pipes.
“The penalty put us in a bad predicament with still a lot of time left,” says Creasy. “People don’t realize Jordan James has some really good hands and our quarterback made a perfect throw in that situation. Of course some bad things could have happened, but we were very fortunate it worked out and Jordan was able to catch it and outrun everybody to the end zone.”
The cake-icing call by Creasy was one of those plays that can make you look like a five star chef. Of course it also can allow all the arm chair cooks to nay say if it does not work. Having the confidence in your team in critical times makes for a champion’s mentality. Having won three state titles at Trousdale County and garnering a fourth at Oakland, the man obviously knows the ingredients to a winning cake. And as Riverdale found out…he knows how to ice it as well.
Oakland will host Maryville in the TSSAA class 6A state semifinals on November 27. Kickoff at Ray Hughes Stadium is slated for 7pm.