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Ads get a kick out of beating Bearden
Hill, Helton, Backstrom lead No. 1 FHS past SoccerDawgs

If Bryan Hill had only worn burgundy and allowed some of his energy to rub off on Bearden, the big soccer match last Thursday evening in Farragut Stadium may have been quite different.

While BHS boys head coach Eric Turner expressed bitter disappointment in his team’s overall effort following Farragut’s 2-0 victory, Admirals’ head coach Wallie Culbreth pointed to Hill’s relentless effort and effectiveness.

“I think the biggest key in us winning this game was that Bryan Hill played like Superman,” Culbreth said about his talented senior. “I mean, he was everywhere. He’s my stopper, and he totally controlled the middle of the field.”

As for other top efforts, “Cory Helton and Ben Backstrom stepped up real big,” the FHS coach said about his two goal scorers. “Those two played real well.”

In the teams’ first meeting since the Class AAA state title game last May, the defending state champion and nationally-ranked Admirals — who are currently top-ranked in the state — improved its overall record to 10-1. Bearden dropped to 4-3-1.

“Farragut definitely wanted it more than we did,” Turner said, singling out special criticism for his forwards. “They were much more intense than we were. We’re just not physical enough, that’s our number one thing. Every time we got near a ball, they knocked us off the ball … we didn’t bring it up top. It’s very disappointing.”

Turner took time to praise Helton and his goal: “You’ve got a kid coming off the bench and putting it on frame and he scores, it’s a great job by him.”

Helton’s left-footed shot from about 20 yards out beat BHS goalie Bryan Walker on the leftside of the net with 8:30 remaining in the first half.

Backstrom’s goal followed some nice ball control in traffic by Scott Kensell and came after Kensell’s pass to the open freshman, who beat Walker from about five yards out with 11:45 left in the second half.

Turner did have kind words for his defense and goalkeeper.

“I thought our defense did a good job, they played well … those guys definitely came to play,” Turner said about Todd Vinsant, James Totten, Alan Myers-Davis, Preston Walker and goalie Bryan Walker. “Bryan did an outstanding job.”

Three diving saves by Bryan Walker kept the game close, although FHS out-shot the SoccerDawgs by more than a 3-to-1 margin according to the Farragut scorebook.

“We’ve got a lot of talent, and when we put it together we score a lot of goals,” Culbreth said. “We’re headed in the right direction.”


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