NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The day started at 7 a.m. in the parking lot at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro.
It ended in the same place nearly 12 hours later, but members of the school’s football team had something new in their possession: A championship trophy from the Titans 7-on-7 Passing Tournament.
Oakland won the title with a 31-14 win over Pearl-Cohn in the championship game. When it was over, the Patriots celebrated, and players posed for a picture in the middle of the Titans logo inside Saint Thomas Sports Park’s indoor practice facility.
“It is good to get out here and compete against teams we don’t usually see on Friday night, and adjust on the run,” Oakland coach Kevin Creasy said. “The Titans do a great job of building relationships with high schools and they do a great job of hosting this tournament. We just got off dead period so it is great to come out here and knock some of the rust off.
“We weren’t real sharp at times on a lot of plays, but I thought it was great to see us compete. There was some real good competition for us out here, and for us to win the last game, that is a goal of ours in real football.”
Oakland beat Hazel Green (38-12) and Brentwood Academy (23-22) to get to the title game, and then pulled away from Pearl-Cohn in the second half to win its third Titans 7-on-7 tourney in four years.
Senior quarterback Brevin Linnell and two-way star Woodi Washington, an Oklahoma commitment, were named co-MVPs of the tournament.
Linnell lit it up, going 17-of-19 with four touchdowns in the title game. In the tournament, he completed 76-of-95 passes with 23 touchdowns and one interception.
Timmy Pannell and Dumba Luwaju had second half touchdown catches for Oakland, and Kameron Goodrich ended the game with an interception. Oakland lost to Brentwood Academy in last year’s finale at STSP.
“It is an awesome thing to win, especially my senior year,” Linnell said. “And to do it with my brothers. It is a great accomplish to have.
“And it is good to win the last game before we start scrimmaging and playing. It’s good to end on a good note.”
Josh Corey, Football Outreach Coordinator for the Titans, wanted it to be a special day for all the teams involved.
In addition to Oakland, Pearl-Cohn, Brentwood Academy and Hazel Green (Alabama), Antioch High, Bob Jones High (Alabama), Fairview High, Glencliff High, Hillwood High, Lipscomb Academy, Page High and Ravenwood High all took part in the tournament as well. Pearl-Cohn advanced to the title game with wins over Fairview and Ravenwood.
Teams received hydration packets, including coolers, towels, water bottles, cups, and t-shirts, courtesy of Gatorade, and players and coaches from Oakland and Pearl-Cohn will receive tickets for a preseason game.
Titans general manager Jon Robinson stopped by to watch the action, and so did some Titans players -- Jurrell Casey, DaQuan Jones and Ben Jones spent time on the field chatting with players and coaches.
Former Vanderbilt basketball standout and current YWCA Senior Director of External Affairs Shan Foster spoke to teams about character and leadership.
“I think being able to bring their kids into an NFL facility and being able to experience the same things our guys get an opportunity to experience every day at practice, it’s a unique experience,” Corey said. “And it gives them a little bit of a jumpstart on the competition – they are coming off the dead period, and they have preseason practice that starts in about 10 days.
“Plus, it gives them an opportunity to break the monotony of some of those long summer workouts, go compete against somebody in a different color uniform and have some fun while getting a little bit better.”