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Late ground game surge pushes FHS past Ooltewah 33-16 in round two

There’s was lots of love in the Farragut team huddle following their second-round playoff victory against Ooltewah Friday night.

Senior Steven Moon praised his defense for a special effort in the 33-16 win Nov. 11 at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field, saying, “It was the best defensive performance I’ve ever seen us play.”

But the Admiral running game also won rave reviews.

After coaches praised the line for opening second-half holes allowing tailbacks Andre Sterling and Nick Moore to combine for 194 yards and four touchdowns, Sterling gave full credit to his guys up front.

Senior guard Shaun Smith said, “We started out really slow, they were out-scheming us, just out-physicaling us, they were handing it to us in the first half and the third quarter, the very beginning of it.

“But we found a play that we just started running, and after we got some momentum we started having confidence in ourselves and we just started pushing off the ball.”

Other Ad offensive linemen making holes were Michael Hoag, David Bernard, Dylan Young, Brandon Lazarus and Chris Ivey.

Smith later repaid Sterling’s offensive line compliment.

“We have the best runningbacks in the state, I believe,” Smith said, adding that Sterling and Moore are “thunder and lightning, I say, you give ‘em just a little crack and they’re gone.”

While the Admirals improve to 10-2 heading to Blankenship Field for a rematch with Oak Ridge Friday (see related story on this page), Ooltewah’s season ends with a 9-3 record and its second loss to FHS this season.

Trailing 5-0 beyond the midway point of the second quarter, Farragut broke the ice thanks to a leaping 14-yard grab of quarterback Tyler Powell’s lob pass to wide receiver Marcus Huie. The senior simply out-jumped the defensive back who was right with him in the end zone.

Patrick Ladd, whose kickoff into the end-zone from the FHS 20 following a safety helped the Admirals establish field position for the drive, added the point.

Down 8-7 late in the third quarter, Moore’s 17-yard run gave FHS the lead for good at 13-8.

Following a 53-yard drive that was all Sterling along with a 15-yard face mask penalty, the sophomore increased the lead to 19-8 after scoring from three yards out.

The Owl standout tandem of quarterback Zach Woods and tailback Dwayne Caldwell connected on a 15-yard dump-off pass for a touchdown with 7:53 to play.

But Farragut answered with Huie’s 52-yard kickoff return, sparking a 40-yard drive ending on Moore’s 33-yard scoring run with 6:15 left, making it 26-16.

“When we’ve got a guy on the linebackers, that’s when we started scoring,” Smith said. “And I think they were tiring, because their linebackers were going both ways as receivers and tight end [also playing offense]. And I think that we just started wanting more than they did.”

After the Owls lost possession on downs, Sterling ended the scoring with a 27-yard TD run.

Powell ended with 8 completions in 14 attempts for 108 yards and the TD pass. One of Jovon Miller’s five catches was an over-the-shoulder grab of a Powell deep lob pass where Miller had to tight-rope sideline to avoid stepping out-of-bound. Huie also had a similar catch.

Moore’s 106 yards on 15 carries led the Ads’ ground game, followed by Sterling (13 for 88).

Defensively, Nick Reveiz, Brandon Besola, Tony Manilla, Shane Reveiz, Zach Allen and Moon were among the FHS defenders making minus-yardage stops.

At his safety spot, Miller unleashed a hit on an OHS receiver that got the FHS partisans excited. Lee Travis also had a similar hard hit.


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