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Ads avenge 2006, crush Commandos

MURFREESBORO — In big games, star players need to step up. Fortunately for the Farragut Admirals they got just that in a 3-1 victory in the state quarterfinals against Hendersonville, Wednesday, May 23 at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.

With nearly eight minutes to play in the first half of a scoreless game, Farragut head coach Wallie Culbreth told seniors Ben Backstrom and Jake Russell to take over the game as the duo awaited to check into the game.

A minute later Backstrom assisted senior Kevin Underwood on the game’s first goal.

“He told me to take over and make a name for myself and have a good game and that’s what I tried to go out there and do,” Backstrom said. “I got the ball and played it across to Underwood and Kevin put it in and after that we started playing hard.”

Entering halftime, Farragut found itself in a familiar situation and was determined to avenge a state tourney loss from a year ago to Hendersonville.

“Last year we were up one-nothing at halftime, too, so I told the boys we can’t let it happen again so we came out after halftime and played hard,” Backstrom said. “I thought we played awesome to beat a team like that.”

After the half, Russell scored with 34:30 remaining to increase the lead. Brendan Cook knocked the game’s third goal through the net on Backstrom’s second assist of the night to increase the Admiral lead, 3-0, with 23:08 left in the game.

“They are a tough act to beat,” Culbreth said of the duo. “Jake Russell and Ben Backstrom are great players and I tell them for us to win they have to step up and make it their game, and they did.”

It didn’t take much for the Admirals to realize they needed to be at their best.

“We played them last year and went down so we had a grudge coming into it that we had to step it up,” Russell said.

Hendersonville got its only goal with 5:59 remaining, but it was too little too late for the team that knocked FHS out in 2006.

“These guys knocked us out last year and we were certainly going to control the tempo, and we did,” Culbreth said. “This really was our game to lose. Three-to-won is a good score in soccer, but it wasn’t indicative of what it could have been.”


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