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OR is ‘record’ victim
Courtney new FHS all-time wins leader as Ads rip ’Cats; Science Hill next

Oak Ridge football used to make Farragut an annual whipping boy, and Admirals head coach Eddie Courtney endured 10 straight years of such abuse.

But just as the Wildcats hit a relatively new low Friday on Senior Night at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field, Courtney enjoyed two milestone achievements.

His team’s 34-8 drubbing of ORHS Oct. 31 gave Farragut its first-ever three-game winning streak against Oak Ridge, while Courtney became the Admirals’ all-time winningest coach with his 88th career head coaching victory (13th season).

“It’s just great, everybody knows he’s a great man, he’s come out here and he’s done everything for the kids,” said Tom Doucette, FHS linebackers/defensive coach who presented Courtney the game ball in the post-game team huddle. “He’s just been an inspiration for everybody, going way back to when he was sick.

“Happening against Oak Ridge is great,” added Doucette, in his 10th year under Courtney.

Senior offensive lineman Marcus Jeter said he “loves coach Courtney, he’s always been supportive of whatever I’ve wanted to do. He’s always telling me to do the best that I can. To help him get his 88th victory warms my heart.”

Farragut, still top 10-ranked statewide in Class 5A, finishes the 2008 regular season 9-1, 6-1 in Region 2-5A to earn a No. 2-seed in TSSAA state tourney opening round. The Ads host No. 3-seed Science Hill (Region 1-5A) Friday, Nov. 7. Opening kickoff is 7 p.m.

Oak Ridge, meanwhile, reportedly suffered only its third losing season in program history (4-6, 3-4), first since 1986.

A 26-yard Christian Ponce field goal began the scoring, en route to a 19-0 FHS halftime lead.

David Allen’s interception and 40-yard return put FHS at the Oak Ridge 12. DeAndre Purty scored from seven yards out, making it 10-0 with 3:48 left in the first quarter.

After a safety made it 12-0, an Alex Encarnacion interception and 23-yard return put Farragut at the ORHS 10.

Two play later, on a play-action fake, Browning found tight-end Derek Harper wide open for a 19-0 edge with 6:24 left in the first half.

The Admirals began the second half going 61 yards in eight plays, ending with Browning’s 35-yard TD pass to a wide open Lee Van Dyne deep. Browning’s two-point pass to Nathan Gibson made it 27-0 at the 7:53 mark of the third quarter.

“We protected well, even though they were blitzing sometimes seven or eight guys,” senior offensive lineman Matt Oglesby said.

Farragut finished off the Wildcats scoring-wise after Taylor Fry blocked a punt and FHS took over at the OR 9. Browning’s 1-yard sneak made it 34-0 in the third quarter.

“We’re on a pretty good streak right now,” FHS senior wide receiver Justin Schoonmaker said. “It’s Senior Night, so it’s always great to get a good victory on Senior Night.”

Terry Wheatley had an interception and 16-yard return. Other key

Farragut defensive plays included Brooks Harper’s tackle for a 21-yard loss on a run (he led team with nine total stops), Danny Vest’s 12-yard sack, Encarnacion’s tackle on a fourth-down fake punt to stop Oak Ridge short at the ORHS 39, a Jonathan Moskal hit for minus-two yards and Derek Harper’s and Austin Bolen’s minus-one stop.

“Defensively, the whole unit did a great job,” Courtney said, “I commend the defense for being ready to play. They put pressure on [Wildcat quarterback David Irby] and covered their receivers.”

Ponce had three kickoffs reach the end zone.

Brandon Clark, senior nose guard, said three in a row “was great, ’cause I know my freshman year [2005] getting knocked out by Oak Ridge [playoff quarterfinals] hurt. It’s great to do something Farragut’s never done before.”

Zach Testone, senior defensive end, said Courtney is “a really good coach and a really good guy. I’m happy for him, and we’re going to keep pushing in the playoff season and get it higher.”


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