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Owls sink Admirals in Farragut grid finale
FHS ends season 5-5; no playoff appearance for third straight year


A host of Farragut defenders stretch out to stop this Ooltewah ball carrier.- Marty McCool/www.eventography.net
The stakes were high Friday night for Farragut’s football team. It was Senior Night at FHS, the last regular season game of the year, and there was a possible playoff berth on the line.

But despite their effort, the Admirals’ critical mistakes at critical times made the outcome nothing liked they would have hoped. Though the Owls have struggled for much of the 2003 season — with only one Region 2-5A win entering the FHS game — Ooltewah walked away with a 17-7 region victory.


As for Farragut, a season filled with promise only a month ago ends with a three-game losing streak and no playoff appearance for the third straight year.

FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said that it was a very disappointing end to a promising year.

“I was very disappointed, especially for our kids cause I know they worked hard,” Courtney said. “I really felt like this team was capable of being in the playoffs and having a good record and seeing what we could do in the playoffs. In weeks nine and ten we just didn’t get the job done.”

OOLTEWAH 17 FHS 7

As for his team’s problems against Ooltewah, “we just made some critical mistakes early and gave them the fumbled punts and things like that and gave them some opportunities,” Courtney said. “There were just some critical times that they made some plays and we didn’t.”

With their first possession of the night, Ooltewah picked up a couple of first downs on long runs by sophomore Zach Sanders.

The Owls also converted a long third down with a 21-yard pass from Blake Foster to Corey Petree, but Farragut’s defense did not break. With a sack by Senior Brandon Hall, the Owls were forced to punt on fourth-and-16.

But a Jesse McKee fumble on the punt gave Ooltewah the ball inside their own 10. Two plays later Sanders took the ball in from three yards out. The extra point gave the Owls a 7-0 lead.

It would be the only score of the half with neither offense being able to pick up a first down after their first drives.

The Admirals could only amass 41 yards of total offense in the first half but also held the Owls to just 76 total yards. The turnover and crucial penalties cost Farragut dearly during the first two quarters.

On their first drive of the second half, the Admirals picked Ooltewah’s defense apart with the run and the pass.

With the ball on the Owls’ 20 yard line, Farragut faced a fourth and two, but Michael Wright was stuffed for a two-yard loss to give Ooltewah the ball back. Courtney said that his offense was really starting to put it together at that point, but critical mistakes again hurt them.

“I felt like our offense was playing pretty well at that point.” Courtney said. “Just a couple of breakdowns at some times that hurt us.”

The Admiral defense continued their good play as McKee intercepted a Foster pass to give his team the ball back on their own 36-yard line.

But the Admirals were unable to put together anything on offense and punted.

“The whole night we had an opportunity and we didn’t take advantage of it when we did,” Courtney said. “Kind of the way the whole night went.”

Ooltewah pushed their lead to 10-0 on their next drive with a 24-yard field goal by kicker John Gregory at the 7:28 mark of the fourth quarter. The field goal capped off the Owls’ 14-play drive that took 4:57 off the clock.

ADMIRAL MOMENTUM

Farragut answered back with a score of their own. After back-to-back catch by senior wide out Jason Stone for more than 20 yards each, the Admirals turned to their running game to finish off the drive.

Wright took it in from five yards out to cut the Owls’ lead, and with Aaron Doyle’s extra point the Admirals were back in the game down 10-7 with 4:58 left in the fourth.

Stone, who had developed into a key component in the Admirals passing game, was named TnBank’s Player of the Week for his four catches for 76 yards.

Farragut’s kickoff team gave their defense a huge boast as they shut down the kick return and pinned the Owls deep at their own 5-yard line.

With momentum on their side, the Admiral defense, which had played great all night, gave up their only real big play of the night. On the first play of the drive, Ooltewah sophomore running back Casey Harper broke through the line for a 70-yard gain to the Admiral 25 yard-line.

The Admiral defense held up, but on fourth and inches Harper broke through and took it in for a five-yard touchdown. That would be the final score as the extra point sailed through the up rights and Ooltewah took a 17-7 lead.

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