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Sterling, FHS clip Govs
Ads respond to speech, win 21-7 despite losing Lawrence; career over

Farragut was scoreless at halftime Friday night and facing life without its senior leader at quarterback for the rest of the season. Michael Lawrence, who broke his collarbone in the first quarter against William Blount during second round action in the TSSAA Class 5A state tournament, inspired the team at halftime.

“I let Michael talk to ’em before we came out,” FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said after his team’s 21-7 victory at Bill Clabo Field Nov. 10. “They promised him they were going to win it for him. They rallied around Andrew [Martland, backup quarterback].”

Admiral senior offensive tackle Michael Hoag said Lawrence told the offense, “‘to step it up,’ he knew Martland would get the job done. We all knew we had to do it for him.

“I think we were totally inspired by him.”

Standout tailback André Sterling responded with 261 yards rushing on only 27 carries, scoring a pair of TDs, as FHS improves to 9-3 overall heading to Ooltewah in the state quarterfinals Friday.

“I told him at half[time] he was going to have to take it on himself because Michael’s not there, so the offense needed someone to spark ’em,” Courtney said. “He did. ... He has a lot of God-given ability, but he’s not satisfied, he continues to work hard.”

Martland, a junior, saw his first-ever critical action as a varsity quarterback. “I was really, really nervous because I haven’t played quarterback in games, I’ve been playing safety,” said Martland, who has started at safety and wide receiver this season. “It hurts to see somebody like Mike go down because he’s been a great leader for us all year.

“But the whole offense, including the seniors, did a great job of relaxing me and making me calm and really made me comfortable. The coaches ... ran plays they knew would work with me.”

Hoag said Martland, “at first came in a little shy, we knew we had to pick him up. We’re just telling him, ‘good job.’ We told André he really needed to run hard. And the offensive line, we all knew we had to step up.”

Though Martland only completed 2-of-6 passes for 29 yards, one of those was a critical screen pass to Sterling for 19 yards to keep alive Farragut’s game-clenching scoring drive early in the fourth quarter.

Defensively, linebacker Shane Reveiz won praise from Courtney for “consistency,” leading in tackles with nine, six solo including a sack.

FHS defensive backs Brenton Dickerson and Jeremy Walker each had seven, all solos for Walker while Dickerson had five solo. Of defensive back Alex Encarnacion’s six tackles, two were minus yardage.

Linebacker Micah Devan added seven tackles, five solo. As a punter he averaged 41.5 yards.

Courtney doled out special praise to senior nose guard Adam Wigren for his ability to beat double- and triple-team blocks. “He had a great game, he had two minus-yardage tackles.”

After a Ty Canan fumble recovery, FHS went 25 yards to go up 7-0 early in the third quarter. Sterling ran 15 yards to set up Devan’s one-yard TD run with 7:10 left. It was 14-0 after Sterling raced 55-yards, the last 50 untouched, with 2:36 left in the third.

William Blount cut the lead in half with a 14-yard TD pass on the first play of the fourth quarter.

But Sterling once again came up big. Following his 19-yard reception, the junior scored from 40 yards out with 9:34 left to play.

The Governors (7-5 final record) suffered their own big loss, as senior runningback Darren Walker, who had gained more than 1,300 yards as the WBHS offensive centerpiece, was lost to injury in the first quarter and didn’t return.


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