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Muddy romp
Ads bounce back big at Soddy Daisy; No. 2 seed at stake versus Oak Ridge

SODDY DAISY — Anger, brought about by eating humble pie, was a huge motivating factor at a soggy Soddy Daisy High School Friday Night.

Former state No. 1 Farragut, pushed from its lofty perch violently by Ooltewah the week before, wasted no time dishing out its own humble pie upon a Trojans team riding high. Soddy Daisy entered the Oct. 24 Region 2-5A showdown unbeaten in region play, 7-1 overall, and No. 10-ranked in state.

But a pair of long first quarter touchdown runs from FHS junior running back DeAndre Purty, of 67 and 37 yards, paved the way as Farragut went up 21-0 by scoring on its first three possessions.

Despite a brief glimmer of early second-half light from SDHS, Purty and the Admirals’ passing game more than did its job to seal a resounding 42-19 Ads victory.

Andy Koonce, FHS senior offensive tackle, said the team “came out really hard during practice this week and we just kinda got that angry attitude and we’re not going to let something like [Ooltewah] happen to us again.

“Tuesday’s practice was the best practice we’ve had all year.”

FHS offensive coordinator David Sweetland, helping run the show in absence of Admirals head coach Eddie Courtney — serving a one-game suspension for being ejected from the Ooltewah game — said it “goes back to practice. We practiced this week like we haven’t practiced in five or six weeks. Our focus, our kids’ attention was back there.

“They were humbled, they were listening a lot more attentively on what we wanted to get done,” he added.

Sweetland praised Purty, who ran 15 times for 195 yards and three scores. “The last couple of weeks he’s really run the ball like we needed, has adjusted to our schemes and ran the ball tough, he’s hard to bring down, good when he gets in the open field,” the coach said.

Sweetland also heaped praise upon his offensive line: tackles Koonce and Will Jackson, guards Matt Oglesby and Marcus Jeter and center J.T. Doucette. “A bounce-back performance, we struggled up front handling some of Ooltewah’s quickness. … With some of the gaping holes that DeAndre had to run through, I think they had to do pretty well.”

Reese Browning, FHS junior quarterback, set a Farragut single-season passing yardage record while completing 11-of-18 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown, a 37-yard strike to Lee Van Dyne. The Ads outgained Soddy 401- 321.

“He’s such a student of the game and stays so calm under pressure,” Sweetland said of Browning. “I’ve never had a kid on the same page as me as much as Reese is.”

Browning’s one-yard TD run and Alex Encarnacion’s 33-yard fumble recovery return for six points were the other FHS touchdowns.

Defensively, junior nose guard Greg Grieco said, “With Ooltewah, we kinda got blown off the ball, kinda manhandled, and we knew we had to come out there and smash [SDHS] in the mouth.”

Linebackers Brooks Harper and Terry Wheatley and defensive back Nathan Gibson led FHS in tackles with eight each. Austin Bolen added six and a fumble recovery.

Farragut, No. 6-ranked statewide (8-1, 5-1), can finish no worse than third in region heading to the TSSAA Class 5A playoffs. A win versus rival Oak Ridge Friday, Oct. 31, on Senior Night at FHS would secure a No. 2 playoff seed.

Purty, who also had a 26-yard fourth-quarter TD run, attributed his success “to coach Courtney, he couldn’t be here so he was wishing me a good game. … He will break us down and give us speeches at halftime, I just really miss that.”

FHS senior defensive back/running back Trevoris Bogan suffered an apparent high ankle sprain. Sweetland said he was unsure of Bogan’s availability versus Oak Ridge or beyond.


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