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Turnovers, Sterling overcome Ryan in FHS win
Ryan rallies West, but offensive efficiency, forcing, cashing in mistakes huge for Ads

Kent Reinart enjoyed the biggest moment of his young athletic career Friday night, Aug. 24, at West High School’s Bill Wilson Field. And in the process, the FHS senior defensive end’s fumble recovery for a 3-yard touchdown run helped the Ads build a big first-half lead — a cushion they would need in a 41-24 victory.

”“That’s number one by far right now,” Rinehart said about ranking the play among biggest in his career. “When I was going through the line I saw it all unfold, Josh Morrison, the defensive end, just came down perfectly [hitting the quarterback] and the ball just rolled right on me.

“I was kinda nervous picking it up and going,” Rinehart added. “But once I was in I was in, and I was all excited.”

“It was a really big momentum booster for all of us.”

A 24-yard touchdown run from senior standout tailback Andre Sterling, who finished with 202 yards on 33 carries, was set up by a 74-yard kickoff return from Lee Van Dyne; a fumble recovery from Jonathan Moskal led to Sterling’s three-yard TD run, a 28-yard Zach Allen reception and 41-yard Sterling run set up Micah Devan’s one-yard TD jaunt, then Reinhart’s score made it 28-7 with 5:42 left in the first half.

With five first-half turnovers, the West offense needed a spark.

Rebel starting quarterback Jake Ryan, serving a half-game suspension, came out in the second half and ignited a crisp passing attack. The Ads’ 28-7 halftime lead was quickly trimmed to 28-17 with five minutes left in the third quarter.

“He’s a good player, he’s got a real quick release,” FHS senior defensive end Jamison said of Ryan. “It doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to get back and get pressure on ’em. And they have a lot of good athletes on the outside with speed.”

Ryan, a senior, ended 12-of-25 passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns.

Saying the Admirals prepared all week as if Ryan would play, FHS head coach Eddie Courtney labeled the senior, “a great quarterback. I’m sure he’s the team leader for them, inspires them.

“And he’s got such a quick release,” Courtney added. “And their receiving speed, you can’t emulate that in practice.”

Cutting the lead to 11, West apparently recovered the ensuing on-side kick, but were ruled to have touched the ball before in went the necessary 10 yards. Farragut took advantage.

The Ads’ 47-yard TD drive featured five Sterling runs worth 39 yards. Quarterback Andrew Martland’s sneak from the 1-yard line made it 34-17 with 2:19 left in the third frame.

West answered quickly, as Ryan’s 39-yard TD pass to Jack Wagner cut it 34-24 with 11:06 left in the game.

The Rebel defense then stopped a Devan fourth-and-1 run at the WHS 27 with 7:27 to go.

But Farragut finally got sufficient pressure on Ryan, forcing three incompletions and a punt.

“I thought our defensive front played real well tonight ... they had a great game,” Courtney said. “They kept pressure on him, and that’s what we had to do. We had to make sure we were in their backfield on their veer offense, not let ’em get the ball up in the line of scrimmage.”

Individually, “Jeff Jamison, Josh Morrison, Kent Reinhart and Ty Canan, with those guys we were able to keep pressure on West with all their speed,” Courtney said.

The Admirals then marched 54 yards to essentially put the game on ice, with Martland’s sideline passes to Alex Encarnacion (14 yards) and Allen (13) plus a 13-yard Sterling run.

Martland found Allen for a nine-yard touchdown pass, another sideline route, with 3:48 left.

“With the sideline pattern, when I roll out I get a clear view, and it gives me an option of running, so I feel no pressure at all,” said Martland, who finished 10-of-12 passing for 84 yards. Allen finished with five receptions for 49 yards, Van Dyne three for 25.

Courtney added, “I think our passing game has coming on for us, I like how we’re spreading the field. And the point in the third quarter when we got back in the I-formation and ran the football and ate up some clock.”

Courtney praised the effort of Sterling and fullback Austin Bolen.

Devan converted four of six extra points, averaged 34.8 yards per kick and booted three kickoffs into the end zone. Martland ran in a two-point conversion.

Defensively, Devan, a linebacker, had eight solo tackles and five assists, including two minus-yardage stops. Jamison had four solo stops, three assists, including two for minus yardage.

Allen’s interception and 66-yard return to the WHS 4 in the second quarter was partially wiped out by a holding penalty.

Senior cornerback Brandon Hylton made a leaping interception late in the first half. Senior linebacker Will Pearman also recovered a fumble.

James Harrill, a 6-foot-1, 300-pound senior offensive lineman transfer from Grace Christian Academy, was not yet eligible for the 2007 season as officially decreed by the TSSAA. A final decision on Harrill’s status was expected this week, Courtney said.

FHS opens its home season at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, hosting Central at Bill Clabo Field.


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