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Admirals topple Indians

While Bearden was doing more than its part to secure a Class 5A state quarterfinal playoff game, Farragut was matching that yard-for-yard against Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett.

And doing so while breaking through the visitors’ three-year points-allowed barrier. Friday’s gigantic Admirals-Bulldogs state playoff showdown at BHS’s Bill Young Field (7 p.m., Nov. 23) was made possible, on the Navy Blue side, by a quick start that was never really challenged by the KDB Indians.

The result was a 28-6 second round Farragut win at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field Friday, Nov. 16, as the Admirals improve to 11-1 heading to Bearden (see preview story beginning on page 10).

A perennial state power, Dobyns-Bennett’s season ends with an 8-4 record.

“Our goal was to score more than 25 points, no one’s done that [on Dobyns-Bennett] in three years,” senior offensive tackle Brett Courtney said. “We just came to execute. And Andrew [Martland] did a great job running the offense.”

Martland, a senior quarterback who completed 7-of-14 passes for 50 yards, scored on an 8-yard bootleg run.

“Right now the offense is extremely confident,” Martland said, emphasizing FHS has averaged 38 points per game its last three contests. “We know we can play even better than we did tonight.”

Andre Sterling is literally making 200-plus yard rushing games common, as the Admirals’ standout senior tailback rushed 30 times for 252 yards and two touchdowns.

His first came from 29 yards out where Sterling barely kept his balance after being hit, broke another tackle attempt, cut diagonally to his left at about the 15-yard line, broke two more tackles before somersaulting into the end zone.

Sterling also scored the final Admiral TD from 23 yards out with 3:32 remaining in the game.

Sophomore Lee Van Dyne capped a 96-yard, 11-play drive with a 16-yard scoring run on the first FHS series. Van Dyne ended with 41 yards on 10 carries.

Martland’s TD capped a 58-yard, seven-play scoring drive on the second FHS possession to make it 14-0 with only 10 seconds left in the first quarter.

Sterling and Allen led all receivers with two catches each. Van Dyne, Cody Harvey and Lawton Johnson each had one catch.

Defensively the Admirals held KDB’s highly regarded rushing attack, led by the standout tandem of freshman tailback Chris Sensabaugh and fullback Lane Taylor, to 97 yards.

The Indians had only 154 total yards offense, as Farragut’s Zach Allen intercepted three passes while Jacob Velba had one pick. Josh Morrison recovered a fumble.

With the Indians’ passing game struggling, FHS senior cornerback Senior cornerback Brandon Hylton said, “If you take the pass away you can’t win a football game.”

Senior linebacker-kicker Micah Devan added, “I think Dobyns-Bennett prides their offense on power and just tried to come out and hit us in the mouth. And we tried to do the same. Obviously, they couldn’t pass the ball that great, so they just kept on hitting the fullback … and we just kept shutting them down.”

Devan again led FHS in tackles, this time with 14, while converting all four of his extra points and punting three times for a 37-yard average.

Senior linebacker Ty Canan said. “They’re definitely a hard-running team, we knew they’d come at us with the run. Just watching film on ’em all week we knew they’d be downhill a lot, so we just had to stay low and stop the run.”

Senior linebacker Will Pearman had eight tackles, Jeff Jameson and Alex Encarnacion six each, and Trevoris Bogan and J.T. Doucette five apiece.

Hylton and Allen each had four tackles, Canan and Taylor Fry three apiece, Jonathan Morrison and Kent Reinhart two each and Velba one stop. Jameson, Canan, Reinhart and Doucette each had one minus yardage tackle.

Admiral head coach Eddie Courtney said, “We played a pretty good first quarter, and then certainly played a good third and fourth quarter. The second quarter we certainly let up a little bit.”


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