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Ads hope fond ’04 memories eclipse ORHS rout
No. 3-ranked ’Cats dominate with easy 48-0 playoff victory

OAK RIDGE — Wham, bam, a Wildcat slam.

Farragut players are left with the challenge of trying to remember their 2004 high school football season as a major success despite the rude way the season ended during the second round of the TSSAA Class 5A playoffs.

The state’s No. 3-ranked Oak Ridge Wildcats simply crushed the Admirals, 48-0, last Friday, Nov. 12, at Blankenship Field.

Farragut, ranked among the Associated Press Class 5A top-10 state poll in October, finishes the 2004 season at 9-3.

"Oak Ridge really played explosive tonight," FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said. "They came out on a mission to prove that’s why they were region champs, to move on. They got us back on our heels a little bit.

"But our kids never quit, that was one thing I was proud of," Courtney added. "Against a team playing like they were tonight, if we’d quit they could have hung seventy on us."

A balanced offense that consistently found big chunks of yardage either by air or ground and scored touchdowns on its first three possessions, Oak Ridge (11-1 record) was equally impressive defensively. The ’Cats smothered Farragut to the tune of allowing just 94 yards of total offense the entire game.

"Overall it’s our best game, we executed in every aspect of the game," said Spencer Gulmire, standout Wildcat tailback and one of the leading rushers statistically in the Knox County area. "We knew if we came out here and played a complete game, we could put some points up tonight."

Gulmire, who scored four first-half touchdowns while rushing for 115 yards on 24 carries by game’s end, said his team was especially motivated to beat Farragut.

The junior tailback responded to various comments attributed to FHS players concerning how Farragut would have won the team’s regular season game — a 21-13 ’Cat victory — if not for a pair of costly turnovers deep in Oak Ridge territory.

"Most definitely, we were motivated, we knew all week, just some of the comments, I don’t really say they’re out against us and bad comments, but it kind of fired us up," Gulmire said. "And we had two turnovers in the red zone (in that game), so I mean it’s not like we didn’t have any turnovers."

Gulmire scored his first-half touchdowns on runs of 25, 3, 3 and 1-yard.

All but one of ORHS quarterback Scott McMahon’s 10 first-half completions for 170 yards (in 14 attempts) went for 12 yards or more, and included a 31-yard strike to wide receiver Revel Coffey and a 32-yard toss to wideout Jimmie Wells.

The Wildcats’ first three scoring drives covered 74 yards in eight plays, 68 yards in nine plays and 71 yards in 10 plays to go up 21-0 with 8:12 left in the first half.

After the game, Courtney said he told ORHS head coach Bruce Lussier and other Wildcats coaches that they “‘Did a good job changing their total gameplan from what they’ve done the last six weeks.’ Give their kids credit, their kids stepped up and made some plays. Their receivers did. And McMahon did a good job throwing the ball. They kept us off-balance there a little bit.”

Jovon Miller’s interception after a McMahon pass was tipped interrupted the first-half scoring string, but the ’Cats needed just five plays to go 66 yards on its next possession to build a 28-0 halftime lead.

Meanwhile, the FHS offense struggled in a big way. Gaining only 39 yards in the first half, the Ad attack failed to pick up a first down until Oak Ridge had already posted a 21-0 lead.

The impact of Michael Wright’s 11-yard first-down run midway into the second quarter was quickly diminished by Wells’ interception of a deep lob pass. Farragut ended the half with two first downs.

The Wildcats didn’t exactly let-up in the second half, scoring on a one-yard TD run by Leonard Blair, a two-yarder from Daniel Johnson and a 15-yarder from Kevin Helton.

Defensively for the Admirals, inside linebacker Court Courtney led in tackles with 13, followed by outside linebackers Brian Tipton with 12 and Tyler Ladd with 11. Defensive back Lee Travis had one interception.

“It’s been a good year, I think there’s things we can build on," Courtney said. “We’ve got enough young guys that I think understand now what it takes to compete and win. I expect our off-season to be exciting and I can’t wait until next year. And I think they’ll be some carry-over next year.”


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