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Delays, dives don’t deter Ads
West pesky, but No.1 FHS is 4-0

With reinforcements coming from behind, Nathan Gibson, Farragut senior defensive back, tackles West senior Tanner Thompson.- Carlos Reveiz/
Punishing “belly” dive option runs, primarily from halfback Ivan Freeman, and a 66-minute lightning delay proved to be two irritants for Farragut Friday night at West’s Bill Wilson Field.

Though trailing the WHS Rebels 8-3 at halftime, the state’s AP No. 1-ranked Class 6A Admirals (5-0) got its offense in gear. And with a defense bending but hardly breaking, FHS held on for an 18-11 District 4-AAA win Sept. 18.

“First, it just came down to being fired up to play, and all our guys on the team came out here, they weren’t ready to play,” said Greg Grieco, FHS standout senior defensive end who made a number of key minus-yardage stops. “We weren’t focused, sitting around because of the lightning. It just took a lot out of us and everybody’s goofing off, not getting focused.”

About West’s generally successful dive option featuring Freeman, Grieco said, “They’re going to keep running it at yah until you stop it, and we didn’t stop and they kept running it at us.

“Eventually we got our heads on straight, we adjusted, and we stopped it,” he added.

DeAndre Purty’s 6-yard touchdown run to the left side, capping a 75-yard drive, gave Farragut a 9-8 lead it would not relinquish.

Quarterback Reese Browning’s 2-point conversion pass to Braden Urevick made it 11-8 with five minutes to go in the third quarter.

Key plays on the drive included two Browning passes to Lee Van Dyne, an 18-yarder then a 41-yarder down the right sideline that Van Dyne took away from a Rebels defensive back.

“If we play our game nobody’s going to be able to stop us. We were stopping ourselves in the first half and we just needed to get together and execute,” Browning said.

The Rebels (1-3, 0-2 in District 4-AAA) marched from its 34 to the FHS 33 before losing the ball on downs. Grieco’s sack of West quarterback Christian Francis came on fourth-and-seven at the Ads 33.

Within two plays it was 18-8. After a 16-yard Browning to Van Dyne pass connection, Purty found room up the middle, broke a tackle at the 30 and eventually scampered 47 yards to paydirt.

Christian Ponce, whose 34-yard field goal midway into the second quarter was FHS’s only first-half points, added the extra point with 24.4 second left in the third.

But West responded, driving 75 yards before Rebels kicker George Bullock nailed a 39-yard field goal with 4:11 to play.

Farragut senior linebacker Ryan Walker said, “It was bend not break. The first series, you come out and take their spirit away, and we didn’t do that today.”

A 16-yard Browning to David Allen pass and 19-yard Van Dyne “Wildcat” run as quarterback were key plays landing Farragut at the WHS 28 before time ran out.

West opened the game with a 43-yard kickoff return, and would eventually march 57 yards for its only touchdown.

Seven Freeman dive runs eventually landed the Rebels at the FHS 17 before the lightning delay came with 6:21 left in the first quarter.

More than one hour later, an 11-yard TD run from halfback Marquis Simmons made it 6-0 at the 5:55 mark. A two-point pass to Sam Purkey caught FHS off-guard.
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