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Young Admiral QB gets spotlight taste; speedy Rebels await in FHS 2007 opener

It was only a glorified practice game, but last Friday’s Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic Kick-Off Classic was a big stage for Reese Browning.

Farragut’s back-up quarterback, Browning, a sophomore, saw his first-ever varsity action in a formal setting among thousands of fans at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field.

“I was nervous coming in ... but last year I was more nervous when they brought me up for the Ooltewah [varsity playoff] game,” said Browning, one of many second-string Admirals to start against South-Doyle in the fifth and final period (12 minutes) of the Aug. 16 jamboree. Farragut won 7-0, with Browning leading his team to paydirt.

“I knew if I helped my team, they’d help me back,” said Browning, who eventually overcame two critical mistakes, both coming on consecutive plays, after leading the Admirals 69 yards to the SDHS 1 on its first possession.

A delay-of-game penalty followed by an interception were mistakes Browning acknowledged.

“That was my fault down here,” he said. “A quarterback’s supposed to have a short memory, so I just got back out there and tried to throw the ball my best.”

Browning’s 31-yard strike to Lee Van Dyne down the middle of the field highlighted the next drive, 65 yards, and put FHS back at the Cherokee 1.

“Lee made a good play,” Browning said. Van Dyne said, “Reese just looked the safety the other way, and I was wide open.”

Fullback Micah Devan bulled into the end zone with 1:55 to play. Devan converted the extra-point.

Other offense highlights included two pass receptions from junior wide receiver Dane Winborne.

Meanwhile, the Farragut defense held South-Doyle without a first down. A pair of minus-yardage stops came from junior linebacker Austin Bolen.

Having scrimmaged Jefferson County at JCHS the night before, most Farragut starters either saw limited jamboree playing time or sat out.

As for his team’s play in pre-season, FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said, “I think we’ve made a lot of progress. I think our secondary’s gotten better, that’s one thing we needed to step up and do. I think we’ve got offensive linemen now that don’t have to play on defense, that’s a good thing.”

Of all units offensively and defensively, “I think our defensive line has probably been the most consistent in all scrimmages.”

All play to this point is in preparation for this Friday’s Week O season opener, as FHS travels to West Aug. 24. Opening kick-off at Bill Wilson Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Rebels used a pair of Jake Ryan touchdown passes to Jake Klotzbach to upset two-time defending Class 3A champ Fulton 14-6 in the jamboree’s third period.

“West has a lot of speed, that’s probably a concern there,” Courtney said. “I expect it to be a great ballgame. ... Ryan’s a good quarterback, he can run the option real well. He’s got a great release, quick release as a thrower.”

Courtney said the Admirals were generally healthy (as of press time Monday), and barring an injury this week in practice would have all players available at West.


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