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FHS survives yellow flag fest
Numerous penalties shift momentum late; Fisher kicks, Sterling TD edge Govs in OT


Bill Clabo Field was splattered with yellow throughout a crisp Friday evening as William Blount benefitted greatly — then got burned brutally — by a slew of penalties.

Farragut was burned by numerous and critical penalties in the WBHS red zone that twice pushed the Ads out of scoring range in the second half and allowed the Governors to seize momentum and rally late.

But in the end, Farragut’s 17-16 overtime victory in Region 2-5A Sept. 29 came down to a dramatic rally of its own in the final 56 seconds of regulation, using 45 yards worth of Governor penalties to go 58 yards and set up senior Robert Fisher’s 37-yard field goal with no time left to force a 10-10 tie.

Joining the Admirals (4-2 overall, 3-0 in the region) late in the summer after “they announced it over the intercom” that a kicker was needed, Fisher answered the call.

But at the end of regulation play, Fisher said he discovered the job came with high pressure moments.

“I was shaking, pretty much like my life was flashing before my eyes,” the kicker said, adding that a William Blount time out to freeze him worked. “That topped it off, that’s the most nervous I’ve ever been.”

A soccer player with Wallie Culbreth’s FHS boys team who’s faced penalty kick shootouts, “nothing compares to [the field goal], that was insane,” Fisher said.

After missing a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter, “A lot of things were racing through my mind, like ‘why did I come out for this?’” Fisher said. “I was feeling really bad earlier. Making that field goal redeemed everything, made the whole night a lot better.”

The field goal was set up by a pass interference call on what appeared to be the game’s last play, as a WBHS defensive back intercepted the pass.

A rouging the passer call and the first pass interference penalty, which came with 9. 7 seconds to play, greatly aided the cause, as did a 13-yard completion from quarterback Michael Lawrence to receiver Chris Eggert.

In overtime, junior tailback André Sterling, once again the team’s offensive workhorse with143 yards on 28 carries, scored from four yards out in overtime to make it 16-10. Fisher added a huge extra point.

The Governors (3-3, 1-2) were again bitten by a critical penalty, a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct call, but overcame it with a fourth-and-24 TD pass to a wide open Mohamad Baskin.

Farragut blocked the extra point, but were flagged for off-sides. But WBHS kicker Joe Coelho, who put the Govs ahead 10-7 after a 45-yard field goal with 4:58 to play in the fourth quarter, pushed the extra point wide right.

Ahead 7-0 in the third quarter, the Admirals marched from its own 20 to the WBHS 13 highlighted by a 29-yard pass from Lawrence to A.J. Reust and a 16-yard Sterling run.

But a holding penalty followed by an offensive pass interference call pushed the Farragut back to the Gov 36, and a 53-yard Fisher field goal was short.

After stopping William Blount, the Admirals again marched deep into enemy territory, moving from its own 44 to the WBHS 9 early in the fourth quarter highlighted by a 23-yard Sterling run.

But another holding call followed by an intentional grounding penalty pushed the Ads all the way back to the Gov 34.

Farragut punted and William Blount finally turned the tables.

“That killed us, we’d drive the whole game, we’d get into the red zone, even to the ten-yard-line, and [then] penalties ...,” said Lawrence, who finished 7 of 16 passing. “The momentum, I mean, it wa s a roller-coaster tonight. We had it , they had it, we had it again, they had it. It was just a crazy game. But we received some breaks at the end of the game that helped us a lot.”

Governor runningback Darren Garner took a handoff rolling left and fired a pass downfield to a wide open Grey Clevenger for an 80-yard TD that tied the game 7-7 with 9:02 remaining.

After holding the FHS offense and seeing the Ads lose 15 yards thanks to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the Govs used a 16-yard punt return and 13-yard run from runningback Darren Walker to set up Coelho’s field goal.

Now trailing, the Admirals were held again without a first down and decided to punt, with only 3:57 to play, from its own 22. Micah Devan’s 38-yard punt went out at the WBHS 40.

After a 14-yard run on third down from Walker, the senior peeled off a nine-yard run to the FHS 34 — but it was nullified by a holding penalty.

The Governors ended up punting from its own 44 with 1:03 left, and the punt went out at the FHS 21 with 56.5 seconds to play.

Scoreless at halftime, the Admirals opened the third quarter with a 65-yard TD drive sparked by a 28-yard pass to Reust. Lawrence found tight-end/fullback Nick Guess on a 5-yard TD pass for a 7-0 FHS lead with 8:22 left in the third.

On Farragut’s opening possession of the game, they were apparently stopped twice, but thanks to rouging the punter and interference penalties moved to the WBHS 6. But an illegal motion penalty helped stall the Admirals before Fisher misfired from 26.

A Governor drive from its own 37 to the FHS 13 was snuffed out early in the second quarter thanks to Brandon Hylton’s interception at the goal line.

“He also had four solo tackles, he’s made improvement each week,” FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said about Hylton, a junior defensive back.

Winning the praise of Courtney for its overall effort, the FHS defense was led by Shane Reveiz’s 11 tackles, four solo, including two minus-yardage stops. Will Pearman added 10 stops, four solos, with two minus-yardage tackles.

As a unit, “I have to commend the defensive front, they did a great job,” Courtney said of nose guard Adam Wigren and ends Jonathan Morrison, Ty Canan and Jeff Jameson. Canan had a key minus-four yard stop.

A 30-yard run from fullback Devan helped FHS reach the William Blount 32 in the second quarter, but a holding penalty preceded an interception to kill the drive.

 

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