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Men versus Boys?
Nation’s No. 2 soccer Ads roar past state’s No. 2 Bearden in second half

A first-half grind of high school soccer superpowers fizzled into boys against men during the final 40 minutes.

So said the “boys” coach.

“We brought boys in the second half, they brought men,” said Bearden head coach Eric Turner after his No. 2 state-ranked Class AAA Soccer-Dawgs fell apart after halftime and were crushed by a mighty rival in navy blue.

“When boys play men, boys get hurt. Men win.”

Farragut, Tennessee's top-ranked Class AAA team and ranked No. 2 in the nation (ESPN Rise), improved to 13-0-0 by scoring four second-half goals to blast past BHS 5-0 Friday, April 23, at Farragut Intermediate School field.

“I think at the start of the game we had a lot of jitters we were still trying to work out ... we got over-excited,” said Nick Muth, FHS standout sweeper.

“At halftime, our coach [Wallie Culbreth] gave us a great speech.”

Culbreth said about his coaching counterpart, “Eric, I always say, is the best coach in Tennessee, and his gameplan was excellent. ... Because of the great pressure that his team put on us, we weren't finishing things because we were playing a little timid. And they played a different formation, they played different on their attacks and their counter-attacks.”

The Ads, coming close to scoring a handful of times during the first 39 minutes, scored in the final seconds after Muth's free kick from about 20 yards out found Carlos Ramos next to the goal’s left upright.

Ramos' header glanced off Bearden goalkeeper Will Noggle's head and into the goal.

“Every time we play Bearden it's always something new. This time it was, like, everyone was playing their hearts out; it got physical, there were some violent words,” said Ramos, standout midfielder.

“But we just brought it — party's over.”

Turner said, “That late first-half goal definitely hurt us, if we could have gotten it 0-0, but they ramped it up in the second half. I was happy the way we played in the first half."

Patrick Harmony, BHS standout midfielder, labeled that goal “definitely a big momentum boost for them. ... Definitely put us on our heels.”

The Ads made halftime adjustments and proceeded to carve up the SoccerDawgs (13-1-2 after the loss).

“We just changed up our runs, we changed our formation a little bit, and I changed the responsibility of a few players,” Culbreth said. “And because of our anxiety, we didn't settle down” in the first half.

A Nick Peterson sliding shot from six yards out, assisted by a Muth header off a crossing pass, made it 2-0 with 26:22 remaining.

“The first half we weren't playing with all our heart; in the second half we just kinda put everything out on the field,” Peterson said.

A bit more than three minutes later, Admiral forward Brandon Klarner “poked in” the third goal on a crossing pass assist from Ryan Stinton, scoring from about five yards out. “Brandon Klarner played great,” Culbreth said about the senior forward.

Stinton, a standout midfielder, got open and blasted home the fourth goal from 10 yards out, making it 4-0 at the 11:20 mark.

David Jordan closed the defending state champions' scoring from about seven yards out with 6:40 to play. “Cody [Newby] dribbled down the line and he made a great cross to me in the middle,” said Jordan, a forward.

“David Jordan was a super-good surprise,” Culbreth said. “I played David in the midfield and I played him up top, and he excelled at both places.

“And Marshall Ishmael, once I finally got his attention, he had a great game,” Culbreth added about his defensive standout.


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