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Sterling, FHS pound Bradley; No. 2 Owls next

Farragut’s hotshot tailback was especially Sterling against Bradley Central, and the Admiral skipper made that perfectly clear during his team’s post-game huddle.

Junior André Sterling won praise from head coach Eddie Courtney for hard-nosed, determined running — breaking tackle after tackle en route to 206 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns in a 33-7 rout of the Bears Friday on homecoming night at Bill Clabo Field.

“Normally I don’t point somebody out until I’ve watched the film, but he had some tremendous runs tonight carrying the football,” Courtney said. “Great heart, and I appreciate his effort tonight for our football team.”

Despite Sterling’s success, his early third quarter fumble was one of three Farragut turnovers during the first 32 minutes of the game as the Admirals led only 6-0 midway into the third frame.

Courtney said a handful of Admiral offensive players were sick, including a pair of starting linemen, “and it kinda affected the way we were executing. … But you’ve gotta play football, you can’t use that as an excuse.

“We’ll do better next week, I know the character of these kids.”

Farragut better “do better” next week, as the Admirals (5-2 overall, 4-0 in Region 2-5A) travel to Ooltewah to face the state’s No.-2-ranked and unbeaten Owls. Farragut has won the last three games in this series.


“I can’t say enough about the defense because, dad-gum, we turned the ball over at times and they kept ’em out of the end zone except once. Those kids played hard,” said Courtney, who singled out defensive linemen Jonathan Morrison, Adam Wigren, Ty Canan and Jeff Jameson.

Senior linebacker Shane Reveiz once again led the defense in tackles with 13 total, 10 solo.

Canan had 11, including four solo and two for minus yardage. Morrison ended with 11 tackles, seven solo, with three minus-yardage stops, and linebacker Micah Devan added 10 total tackles, seven solo and two for minus yardage.

Senior quarterback Michael Lawrence rushed for 101 yards and passed for 108 more (5 of 9) hooking up with receiver Jacob Whatley on a 43-yard touchdown pass on the Admirals’ first play from scrimmage after a Brandon Hylton interception.

Running a post pattern, “Right when I took off I could tell the corner was in man[to-man coverage] and I just … cut inside and the ball was there,” said Whatley, a junior transfer from Powell. “There was no free safety so I just took it to the end zone.”

Bradley used Farragut turnovers and the running of senior Joel Moody to twice threaten the Admiral end zone, first driving 71 yards to the FHS 9 before a minus four-yard sack from senior defensive end Morrison and a minus-one tackle from sophomore defensive back Alex Encarnacion stalled the drive. The Bears missed a 31-yard field goal.

“The coaches inspired me the past two weeks because they said I’m a senior and I need to lead by example,” said Morrison, who had another quarterback sack resulting in a Ty Canan fumble recovery. “I came out with a purpose and tried to help my team win a game.”

After an interception off a deflected pass, Bradley drove inside the FHS 1 but were stopped mere inches from paydirt on fourth-and-one.

The Bears (3-4, 1-3) used a fumble recovery early in the third quarter to drive to the Admiral 26, but Encarnacion recovered a fumble to end the threat.

Farragut then marched 79 yards in 14 plays ending with Lawrence’s two-yard TD keeper with 3:21 left in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed, leaving it 12-0.

Lawrence, successful running on option keepers, scampered 27 yards to highlight a 45-yard, three-play drive ending in Sterling’s seven yard TD run making it 19-0 with 1:22 left in the third.

A 64-yard pass from Bear quarterback Chris Rogers to Logan Watson set up the only BCHS score, a two-yard TD run making it 19-7.

But the Admirals answered right back as Sterling peeled off runs of 30 and 19-yards before Lawrence scored from one yard out with 9:15 left in the game making it 26-7.

Whatley’s second big post pattern reception from Lawrence, this one for 27 yards, got the next FHS drive going before Lawrence found Nick Collins for a 29-yard reception to the BCHS 2. Sterling took it home and Robert Fisher added the last of his three extra points with 4:30 to play.

Ben Backstrom had three kickoffs reach the end zone. Andrew Martland recovered a fumble.


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