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FHS defense holds tough at Oak Ridge

Farragut star tailback Michael Wright goes tumbling down after an Oak Ridge defender cuts under his left leg during Friday’s Region 2-5A game at ORHS. The powerful Wildcats improved to 7-1 overall and stayed unbeaten in the region with a 14-3 win.- Marty McCool/
Holding powerful Oak Ridge scoreless during the final three quarters, missed opportunities where the killer for Farragut Friday night as they fell 14-3 at ORHS.

Despite the Region 2-5A loss—dropping FHS to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in the region— head coach Eddie Courtney said he was proud of his team’s effort.

“There were a couple of times that we did have chances, there were a couple of dropped balls,” Courtney said. “But I was really proud of our offensive line, under the circumstances, the running went real well. Defense played real hard tonight. Kicking was a little bit off tonight and that cost us field position ... kids were trying to make plays and just didn’t get it done.”

The Admiral defense was especially stingy as they only yielded 234 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers, all interceptions.

They were lead by linebacker Matt Walls, who had 10 tackles.

Oak Ridge, which improves to 7-1 overall while staying on top in the region with a perfect 5-0 mark, didn’t wait long to get going on offense. A 16-yard punt gave the Wildcats great field position at the FHS 38. The 11-play drive was finished by a 3-yard TD run by Corey Booker.

After holding the Admirals to a three-and-out, Oak Ridge once again had great field position at their own 42. On the first play Spencer Gulmire busted through the line for a 36-yard gain to the FHS 22.

Four plays later, the ’Cats hit paydirt again. This time it was through the air for a 10-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead.

A Dylan Dickey pass was intercepted to give the ball back to the Wildcats inside the Admiral 30, but on the second play senior defensive back Jesse McKee got his first of two interceptions as he dove for an overthrown ball and got it at the one-yard line.

McKee, named TnBank’s Player of the Week, was praised by Courtney for playing a huge part in the defense’s success against Oak Ridge’s offense.

“Jesse did a good job at playing the receiver and playing the routes,” Courtney said. “Also he had a chance to make a big catch here on offense for us. It’s one of his better games of the year.”

The Farragut offense found themselves pinned inside their own 2-yard line in back-to-back possessions. Each time they got out of trouble and picked up a first down.

Courtney said that was huge for the offense to give them some confidence in the first half.

“I think it was (big for offense), especially for our offense line,” Courtney said. “Those guys have really worked hard in the past three or four weeks and gotten much better.”


On the Admirals’ last possession of the first half they finally strung something together.

With a fourth-and-three facing his offense, Courtney decided to go for it. Dickey picked up four yards and the first down.

Despite a dropped TD pass, on third-and-10 Dickey hit Jovon Miller with a 25-yard pass to set up a field goal with three second left. Kicker Aaron Doyle put it through.

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