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Central needs ‘mercy’ from Ads
Offensive balance worth 482 total yards praised;big defensive stops equal 45-7 FHS revenge romp

Funny how Farragut’s first-ever application of the new TSSAA 35-point lead “Mercy Rule” didn’t come against a year-in, year-out patsy, but instead against one of Class 4A’s top programs. A program, the Central Bobcats, that showed little mercy last year in stomping the Admirals 34-7.

But the tables turned Friday, Aug. 31, at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field to the tune of 45-7. (“Mercy Rule” takes effect when a team acquires and maintains a minimum 35-point lead in the second half. The clock continues to run in certain situations, such as out-of-bounds runs, incompletions, change of possession and first downs).

Farragut combined a balanced offensive attack, gaining 482 total yards, with a defense that, while occasionally bending, broke numerous Central drives with big plays.

Defensively, the Admirals held Central to 240 yards total offense (33 rushes, 152 yards, 7-of-11 passing, 88-yards). “I’d like the rushing to be less than that, but with the kind of athletes they’ve got it’s not bad,” FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said. “We gave up two long plays.”

Unit-wise, “I can’t say enough about the defensive front again, [Jeff] Jamison, [Ty] Canan, [Josh] Morrison and [Kent] Reinhart,” Courtney said. “Those guys have done a good job.”

As for motivation, FHS senior linebacker/kicker Micah Devan said, “I know me and the rest of the team, we tried to use the motivation from last year, with us getting beat, to come out and just take it to them this year, and show ’em we’re not going to get beat three times to Central while I’m here.”

Devan, the team’s leading tackler with 10 total stops — including two for minus yardage — nailed a 26-yard field goal, six extra points, three kick-off touchdowns and punted once for 33 yards.

“I feel like I’m in pretty good shape,” Devan said. “My legs get tired towards the end of the game, but I start concentrating on what I’m doing and just make sure I make the kick, and worry about my form instead of my power.”

Senior standout tailback Andre Sterling once again shined, rushing 19 times for 185 yards and four touchdowns, including TD jaunts of 34 and 33 yards.

“Of course, Andre’s very steady, got his 180 yards again,” Courtney said.

Then there was Brandon Hylton and his special moment in the sun, recovering a fumble and scoring from 9 yards out.

“That’s my first varsity touchdown, it felt exciting,” the senior defensive back said. “It made me feel real happy. We go through this drill every Wednesday in practice, like this ball recovery, we call it ‘scoop and score.’

“I just scooped it and took off running for my life.”

As for incentive, “The motivation was last year because we got whooped so bad,” Hylton said. “We came out and we were just ready to play and give it to ’em, and we never let up. We just kept giving it to ’em and giving it to ’em.”

Admiral junior offensive lineman Will Jackson said, “We were coming into it knowing they had a lot of speed, we were ready for that. All week we worked hard in practice, and we knew we had to be ready for their speed, so we adjusted a lot of lateral movements to kinda cut off penetration, and make Andre find a hole and run it up in the middle.”

As for turning the tables, “Last year for us to come out and lay an egg like that, to get it really handed to us last year like that, you don’t need any more motivation than that for us to come out here,” Jackson said. “And we wanted to really physically handle ’em this year. … We knew it had to be different.”

As opposed to revenge motivate, Courtney said, “I really think it was more of our kids executing really well. They really did. We were balanced offensively. When you can do that, it gives you a chance to score a lot of points.

“That’s what we had to do is keep them off-balance because they’ve got a lot of team speed on defense,” Courtney added. “Trying to keep them from just blitzing us all the time.

“The offensive line, we got a good push, was able to run the football when we needed to, and they did a good job picking up their stunts when we were trying to throw the football and they were trying to put pressure on Andrew [Martland, quarterback].

As for improvement, “I think the offensive line has come on each week and gotten a little bit better,” Courtney said. “Still trying to play seven guys in there in five positions.”

Individually, “First of all, Andrew Martland, he’s done a great job running our offense,” Courtney said about his senior QB. “He’s throwing the ball real accurately, he’s finding the open guy and reading coverages. When he needs to he can run.”

Martland was 10-of-15 passing for 160 yards, while rushing five times for 46 yards.

Back-up quarterback Reese Browning, a sophomore, came in and completed two passes for 40 yards, including a 24-yard TD strike to Lawton Johnson that the senior wide receiver caught in traffic in the end zone.

Lee Van Dyne led Admiral receivers with four catches for 47 yards, followed by Zach Allen’s three for 53, Cody Harvey’s three for 30 and David Allen’s one catch for six yards.

Back-up tailback Chris Bass rushed nine times for 60 yards, and had a 36-yard run nullified by a holding penalty.

Defensively, just behind Devan in tackles was linebacker Will Pearman (nine stops, one for minus yardage), linebacker J.T. Doucette (eight stops, one minus yardage, and a fumble recovery) and defensive back Allen (eight stops).

On the injury front, Jonathan Moskal and Danny Vest were expected back to practice by “mid-week” recovering from ankle injuries, Courtney said, adding FHS was otherwise generally healthy entering the week.


It’s Homecoming Week at FHS, as Heritage comes to Bill Clabo Field for the Admirals’ first Region 1-5A contest. Opening kick-off Friday is set for 7:30 p.m.

After losing to Class 3A Seymour in Week 0, the Mountaineers were off last Friday and therefore have had two weeks to prepare for FHS.

“They’re spreading the ball around as far as offense and trying to be wide open, a balanced offense running and throwing,” Courtney said about HHS. “They play a defense very similar to us, they going to stunt a lot, try to put pressure on yah. And they’ve got, I think, 25 seniors this year, so it’s a senior team.

“Our thing is, what I told the kids … it’s a region game, that’s enough said on that,” the FHS skipper added about the game’s importance.


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