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Ads seize second-half momentum to edge Powell 16-14

Powell tasted a bitter pill against Farragut that the Admirals had to swallow on opening night against Central.

A critical third quarter fumble.

Trailing 14-2 and having just been pushed backwards by a physical Panther defense, the Ads received a huge break when a fumbled punt near midfield was recovered by sophomore Andre Sterling midway into the third quarter.

Things changed quickly, and Sterling would have more to say about the outcome.

“That was the difference in the game right there,” FHS senior wide receiver/safety Jovon Miller said of his team’s 16-14 victory Friday night at Bill Clabo Field. “As soon as we [got] that fumble, that’s our chance to go, we decided not to let it go. ... That just gets our entire team morale up, and we’re just ready to go out and play harder. ... We took advantage of it right there.”

Miller’s 22-yard TD catch down the left sideline on a third-and-seven play following the fumble cut the Panther lead to 14-9.

Sterling popped up again a few minutes later with another huge play — a 96-yard run for the eventual game-winning touchdown with 1:27 left in the third.

The sophomore backup behind starter Nick Moore out-ran the Panther secondary down the sideline for his long TD after breaking a tackle near the line of scrimmage.

“I had no clue I was going to bounce it,” Sterling said. “I just went outside and bounced it. My line did a good job. My quarterback did a good job, Tyler Powell.

Farragut improves its overall record to 4-1, while the Panthers drop to 2-3.

As for Tyler Powell, he went the distance in the second half after the touchdown pass to Miller and finished 4 of 10 for 75-yards.

“When our punter came up real big, Tony Milazzo did a real good job, and [the fumble] was a big momentum change,” Powell said. “We were ready to score and take the game under control.”

After saying he came out “flat” in the first quarter, Powell said he got some vital words from FHS offensive coordinator, Jim Blake, at halftime. “We sat there and we talked, and coach Blake came up to me and said, ‘Tyler, you’re a senior, lead this team, let’s win.’”

On the ground, Moore rushed 22 times for 90 yards. Sterling ended with 101 yards on five carries, giving FHS 253 total yards of offense.

Punter Tony Milazzo received post-game praise from coaches and players alike for his high and long punts that allowed FHS to be in position while keeping Powell pinned deep in its own territory. That included a 44-yard punt to leave PHS at its own 27 with 2:26 left in the game.

The Panthers gained only one yard in its last drive. A fourth-down pass was intercepted by Lee Travis, who broke up a long pass to standout PHS receiver Lee Smith two plays before.

After giving up a 80-yard touchdown drive to begin the second half as led by PHS quarterback Cody Watts, a huge offensive line and talented receiver Lee Smith, the Admiral defense hunkered down. They allowed PHS only 237 total yards for the game.

“The second half we just came out intense, we just came ready to play, ready to hit somebody, came ready to win,” said nose guard/linebacker Brent Harkins, who ended with eight tackles, six solo.

Senior linebacker Nick Reveiz led FHS in total tackles with 17, including a sack.

Defensive back Marcus Huie, who caught a 38-yard pass on offense, added nine tackles, followed by Steven Moon’s eight.

Three of linebacker Brandon Besola’s eight tackle were for minus yardage. Adam Baxter added a huge minus-yardage tackle on PHS’s last possession.

Linebackers Shane Reveiz (seven tackles) and Adam Wigren (six.) followed.


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