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Shootout ends with Riverdale edging FHS


Where's the beef?

As the buzz in the stands focused on an undersized defensive front and 3-5-3 alignment that was steam-rolled for 521 rushing yards in a rare homecoming loss, Farragut High School returns to District 4-AAA play this week at Her-itage.

It could be the perfect time to make a road trip to Blount County. Forget about the fall colors.

Just about anything sounds better than Murfreesboro Riverdale after the Indians ran wild en route to a 39-34 victory.

It was just the third time that Farragut has lost on Bill Clabo Field in the past 36 home games, and Central and Maryville are the only other visiting teams to escape with victories since 2005.


“We have just got to forget about that game and focus on the next game,” said junior quarterback Cody Rule, who rushed for three touchdowns and passed for another. “[Riverdale] has some great players. We can't do anything to change what's already happened. I can't wait to get back to practice. We've got to move forward.”

Farragut (2-3, 1-1) will face a Heritage team (3-3, 0-3) that suffered a 43-6 rout to William Blount.

The Ads have yet to win or lose at least two games in a row this season. That usually translates into a .500 record, regardless of the top-shelf competition.

“You are learning a hard lesson,” veteran head coach Eddie Courtney said, after asking his players to close ranks. “Keep working hard and don't make excuses. Watch the film. Don't take any steps back and don't blame anybody. We win as a team and we lose as a team.”

It isn't blame, but even some close to the program are questioning Courtney's steadfast rule that says offensive linemen can't play defense. His counterpoint is to say a Class 6A school should have enough starters to go around.

Regardless of your perspective, Riverdale has numerous college-sized linemen and they took control of the game.

Although Conner Taylor's fumble recovery at the 4-yard-line on the next-to-last play of the first half helped preserve a 14-12 FHS lead, Riverdale erupted for 21 unanswered points in the third quarter.

There wasn't much deception in a version of the Wing-T that produced gains of 14, 41, 25, 28 and then 73 yards.

By the time Farragut began to answer a score, there was too much ground to make up.

Rule continued to excel in his first year as a starter and rushed for 170 yards on 14 carries, including a season-best 67-yard dash. He also powered in from the 6 and 3, giving him nine rushing touchdowns this season.

“It's not really a set play for me to do that,” Rule said. “The line has been blocking great and a hole just opens up, If it's there, I am supposed to take it.”

He also completed a 40-yard touchdown pass to tight end Madison Brown, who had a game-high 89 yards on three receptions.

Montre Hudson's 2-yard scoring run was his first of the season and he also had a pair of 10-yard gains.

Jonathan King kicked three PATs and sent all five kickoffs into the end zone.

But the game stayed true to form when Riverdale kept the ball for the final four minutes and ran its 58th and final running play.

“There's no room for error for us now,” said Bobby Fricks, a 230-pound senior that can play all three positions on the offensive line. “If we want to reach any of our goals, we've got to win out and we've got to be impressive doing it.

“The only thing I have to say about Riverdale is they were gigantic,” Fricks added. “They made me feel tiny.”

The Ads are trying to qualify for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year. After Heritage, the Ads will be at home Oct. 8 to face one of the most talented Bearden teams in recent history. A trip to powerhouse Maryville is Oct. 15.

The final two regular-season games are at home with Lenoir City, followed by a trip to William Blount.

 

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