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Top-rank trounce
State’s No.1 Admirals polish off Heritage 42-6


MARYVILLE — The burden of being a No. 1-ranked team statewide, especially when heavily favored to win, carries 48-minutes of strangling pressure.

Farragut, No. 1-ranked in Class 5A from Memphis to Mountain City for what is believed to be the first time in school history, may have strangled a bit on that pressure — for about 11 minutes.

But the other 37 they generally thrived, minus a couple of hiccups, in yet another dominating victory.

Farragut whipped Heritage 42-6 at HHS Friday, Sept. 5, by taking control in the second quarter and adding plenty of insurance in the second half.


Farragut, now 3-0 overall and 1-0 in Region 2-5A, was led offensively by a pair of touchdown passes from junior quarterback Reese Browning to wide receiver Lee Van Dyne.

About chartering into the unknown waters of being No. 1-ranked statewide, FHS junior nose guard Greg Grieco said he and most of the other players “were really surprised, we didn’t think we were going to be number one. Coach [Eddie] Courtney talked to us [and said],‘Don’t let it go to your heads.’”

Andy Koonce, Admiral senior offensive tackle, added, “It’s almost confidence-building that people actually think of us as being number one in the state.”

Courtney said, “I told ’em first of all, ‘It’s nice that somebody gives you that honor. But you’ve got to realize, I think, it’s an accumulation of the last three or four years what our kids have tried to do in the program. … We’ve gotten better every year and I think people respect it. … We were one of the better 2-0 teams last week when they voted us in.

“What I’m concerned about is how we handle it if it goes the next seven games, if it goes into the playoffs,” Courtney added.

Farragut hosts archrival Bearden this Friday, Sept. 12, at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field/Farragut Stadium. Opening kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

FHS 42 HERITAGE 6

Trevoris Bogan’s 50-yard punt return erased a scoreless tie with 1:06 left in the first quarter, as the senior broke up the middle briefly before veering left and going untouched the final 45 yards to paydirt.

Courtney credited special teams coach Ryan Shoup for doing “a great job” preparing special teams, which also included kick-off and punt coverage, punt returns and placekicking (Brad Galloway six-for-six on extra points).

The Mountaineers (1-1, 0-1) answered with a 15-play, 74-yard touchdown drive eating up 6:57 and ending with a two-yard TD run on fourth-and-two. The extra-point was a fake, an incompletion in the back middle of the end zone.

Grieco said Heritage using misdirection out of its offensive backfield was something “we weren’t ready for. We got confused, we weren’t doing what we were supposed to be doing. … We hadn’t practiced against that at all.

“But at halftime we talked about it, and we came out and we were ready to play, got really focused and everybody knew what they were supposed to be doing,” Grieco added.

Courtney praised Grieco and defensive ends Danny Vest, Derek Harper and Gabe White for doing “a real good job” through three games. “They’re very fast, they really pursue the football.”

Courtney also praised the efforts of safeties Jonathan Moskal and Nathan Gibson and cornerbacks Bogan and Dane Winborne. Among the linebackers, Courtney was especially praiseworthy of his “bandits,” or outside linebackers: Alex Encarnacion, Taylor Fry, Dane Lovell and Moskal “have done a really good job.”

Deandre Purty’s 31-yard kick-off return set up the Ads’ 51-yard, two-play TD drive: Purty adding a 19-yard run before Browning hit Van Dyne in stride on a slant pattern for six points. Van Dyne ran the final 20 yards on the 32-yard pass play to make it 14-6 with 4:08 left in the half.

Farragut needed only 27 seconds and three plays to march 56 yards, keyed by Brady Evans’ leaping 46-yard catch of a deep sideline pass landing FHS at the Heritage 12. Purty zoomed up the gut one play later making it 21-6 at the 1:11 mark of the half.

“The offense is easy to get used to,” said Purty, a 5-foot-11, 208-pound transfer from Munford in West Tennessee who has overcome a broken leg suffered early in the 2007 season. “And the teammates, they’ve really been really great to me.”

A Brooks Harper fumble recovery set up a four-yard TD catch by Evans, who once again went over his defender to make the lob pass reception, this time in the back corner of the end zone less than three minutes into the third quarter. It was 28-6.

Saying it was a personal breakout performance, Evans praised Browning for “throwing me perfect balls.”

About being No. 1 in state, Evans said it worked to Farragut’s advantage. “I think tonight being number one helped us because it helped us to get up to prove that we’re number one,” he said.

The next Admirals score went 63 yards in just more than two minutes. Two Chris Bass runs totaling 22 yards got it started, while two Van Dyne receptions finished it off: 29 yards on a slant pass and seven on a lob into the far corner of the end zone — a replica of the Evans TD — making it 35-6 with 46.9 seconds to go in the third quarter.

An 80-yard FHS touchdown drive to cap the scoring featured Bass runs of 24 and 17 yards before sophomore back-up quarterback Dylan Moore scored from one-yard out with 4:16 remaining.

Koonce talked about the line and its four new starters in 2008 coming together around senior All-state guard Will Jackson.

“I think we all came together well during two-a-days, and we’re all friends off the field,” Koonce said. “Coach [Rusty] Partin works with us, he’s a good, caring coach.

“We just enjoy playing together, that’s the bottom line.”

Heritage drove 65 yards to the FHS 9 midway into the fourth quarter, but minus yardage hits from linebackers Brooks Harper and White stopped the drive. A 29-yard field was wide left.

Farragut overcame failure on its second possession of the game after driving from its own 39 to the HHS 9 before, on a fourth-and-one run, Purty was stopped for no gain.

 

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