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Ads fall in 2 OT
McMinn speed, late surge, end in game-winning FG

ATHENS — Following last Friday’s Farragut-McMinn football game, a FHS coach was overheard saying, “What a difference a week makes.”

The difference in beating you rival in double overtime versus losing a region game in double overtime.

Whether any hangover existed after being Bearden in two OTs, the Admirals, who ascended to the state’s No. 4 ranking in Class 5A last week, couldn’t slow down the quick and nimble Cherokees late and fell in double overtime 24-21, Sept. 21.

“They saw a little opening to win a ballgame, they played on a little emotion there at the end and made a few plays at the end, and we didn’t,” FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said. “They made a few more plays than we did.”

Steven Stansell’s 22-yard field goal was the difference after the Admirals missed a 33-yard field goal on its second OT possession. Several FHS coaches strongly reacted to the official’s call, thinking the kick was inside the left upright.

Farragut loses for the first time this season, falling to 4-1 (1-1 in Region 2-5A). McMinn improves to 4-1, also 1-1 in the region.

After the Cherokees took a 21-14 lead in the first OT on a two-yard run by Delano Ellis, the Admirals answered.

After a five-yard run on first down, standout senior tailback Andre Sterling scored around the left side from five yards out. Micah Devan’s critical extra-point tied it 21-21.

A defensive battle through one quarter, which ended scoreless, Farragut broke the ice with an eight play, 52-yard drive ending with Andrew Martland’s quarterback sneak from two feet out with 6:49 left in the first half.

A 19-yard Martland pass to Zach Allen and Andre Sterling’s 12-yard run highlighted the drive.

Sterling, who ended with 217 yards on 31 carries, broke off a 40-yard run before a late first-half Admiral drive stalled near midfield.

The Cherokees drove 60 yards in the closing three minutes of the first half, combining passes with option runs from elusive quarterback Devon Johnson and his runningbacks, reaching the FHS 20.

But key minus-yardage tackles from Derek Harper on third down followed by Kent Rinehart’s minus three hit on Johnson on a fourth-and-four quarterback draw, ending the threat.

Down 7-0 at the half, McMinn overcame a third-and-24, as Johnson found McDermott for 26 yards to the FHS 43. But Trevoris Bogan intercepted Johnson on the next play, gobbling up a bobbled ball at the Admiral 32.

“Trevoris made a heck of an interception,” Courtney said.

Devan’s 50-yard punt pinned the Cherokees, but it wouldn’t matter. A 14-yard McDermott reception came one play before Johnson’s 44-yard TD strike to Cy Ables, who took the pass over the middle at the 30 and raced the distance to tie it 7-7 with 2:08 left in the third quarter.

The Cherokees, using a 15-yard Farragut penalty to kick-off from the FHS 45, completed a successful onside kick, recovering at the 34. But a holding penalty pushed MCHS back, and the home team ended up punting.

On the back of Sterling, the Admirals began the fourth quarter by traveling 82 yards in nine plays to take a 14-7 lead on Sterling’s one-yard TD leap over the line with 8:22 remaining. The senior tailback had runs of 26, 14 and 10 on the drive, and began the drive with a 20-yard shovel pass. Devan would convert all his extra-point kicks.

McMinn immediately responded, going 80 yards in nine plays. Johnson’s 13-yard TD pass saw Josh Simpson go up over two Admirals defensive backs along the left side of the end zone. Stansell’s conversion tied it with 4:25 to play. Ables’ 19-yard reception and three option runs from Johnson of 11, 14 and 11 yards highlighted the drive.

“He’s like a tailback at quarterback,” Courtney said of Johnson. “And with them running the spread gun, you’ve got to make sure you cover the past.

“We knew 40 percent of the time he was going to carry the football, keep it,” the coach added. “I think for the most part we contained ’em. They made a couple of big catches that were critical when we had ’em down third down and they’d get out of there.

“We were in position to make a play, either knock it down or intercept it, and they caught the ball.”

Offensively for FHS, “I think they played well enough to give us a chance to win,” Courtney said. “A couple of times we just broke down on defense.”

Farragut marched to its own 47 before a holding penalty sent the Admirals backwards, eventually punting on fourth-and-28.

With only 25 seconds left in regulation from its own 29, McMinn reached its own 44 before time ran out.

With penalties helping kill three Farragut drives, “You can’t do that,” Courtney said. “Otherwise I think the offense played well enough to win.”

Defensively, Zach Allen led the Admirals with 14 total tackles, included eight solo.”Zach Allen had to step up in the secondary for us,” Courtney said.

Devan followed with 11 tackles at linebacker, seven solo. “Micah’s been very consistent each week,” Courtney said.

Jeff Jamison and Will Pearman each had seven total stops, with Jonathan Moskal and J.T. Doucette ending with six tackles apiece. Josh Morrison had five, Ty Canan and Taylor Frye four each.

“Those defensive linemen have been holding their own and doing a good job,” Courtney said of Jamison, Kent Rinehart, Morrison and Canan. “They’ve been pretty consistent for us each week.”

Offensively, Martland completed 8 of 16 passes for 72 yards and one interception. Allen caught five passes for 43 yards, followed by Dane Winborne’s two for 20 yards and Lee Van Dyne’s one catch for nine.

The Admirals are off tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 28, then return to action at unbeaten William Blount Friday, Oct. 5.

The Govs shocked Top-5 state-ranked Ooltewah 32-0 last week.


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