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Ads face adversity, edge LC


Jonathan King found himself in a unique position Friday night on Senior Night at Farragut High School.

King, only a sophomore, got thrust into the starting quarterback job when junior starter Cody Rule went down with a season-ending knee injury the prior week at Maryville.

But more importantly, King’s success as a kicker, punter and quarterback in the Admirals’ 16-7 win versus Lenoir City Oct. 22 reflects well on the memory of Ryan Shoup.

Shoup, FHS special teams coordinator and running backs coach, died suddenly Thursday night, Oct. 21, from pancreas-related complications.

“Coach Shoup was a great guy, a great, strong Christian that really influenced my life,” said King, who joined his Admirals teammates, locked hand-in-hand, marching through a “Do It For Shoup” sign while entering the field before kickoff.

King’s three field goals featured a career-long 47-yarder; his long punts included 62- and 57-yard boots, and his turnover-free quarterbacking did indeed help Farragut “Do it For Shoup.”


“I felt I was a little more focused tonight going into the game,” King said, adding about being the starting quarterback, “It’s a lot of pressure, and we had some trouble with the play-calling tonight.

“But our [offensive] line played great, and overall I though the offense played well.”

FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said King “had done a great job punting and kicking this year. He keeps stepping up for whatever we’ve asked him to do.”

Dealing with a sudden team tragedy while missing seven starters due to injury according to Courtney, the coach said of his team, “I’m proud of them. They’re like a fighter, they keep getting up when they’re knocked down.”

Bobby Fricks, FHS senior offensive guard, said Friday “was the most somber day I’ve had in high school, trying to prepare for a game when you’re upset and crying during the day.

“It was really tough, but we just tried to rally around the team the best we could.”

About responding to the team’s offensive backfield injuries, Fricks said, “It’s really urgent that we had to step it up. We say every game it’s on our backs, but now it’s really on our backs.”

Farragut (5-4, 4-2) was resourceful offensively despite gaining just 248 total yards — 236 rushing.

King’s season-long 47-yarder made it 3-0 less than three minutes into the game.

Farragut’s next possession began at its own 34, as FHS marched to the Panthers 14.

King’s second successful field goal, this one from 33 yards, made it 6-0 with 1:39 left in the half.

King also boomed four kickoffs into the end zone preventing returns.

Conner Taylor’s pass rush helped force a quarterback throw-away to kill the Panthers’ first drive.

“We knew we had to come out here and play for him,” said Taylor, a senior linebacker, about coach Shoup. “It was really weird, real sad, because we thought he was going to be fine.”

Courtney said, “Conner Taylor made some plays at linebacker.”

Minus-yardage hits from nitro (nose guard) Clint Callahan and linebacker Brooks Harper helped kill Lenoir City’s second drive at the LCHS 23. Robert Wrinkle added a 0-yard hit.

“Brooks has been stable in there,” Courtney said about his five solo tackles, six total.

Senior linebacker Thomas Jackson led Farragut with five solo and seven total tackles.

About holding LCHS to seven points and 203 total yards, Courtney said, “I was so proud of them, they were trying to press so hard, wanting to win so badly.”

King’s 41-yard field goal, ending a drive with no plays longer than five yards, made it 9-0 with 5:11 to go in the third quarter.

The Panthers (4-5, 2-4) struck fast with a 40-yard pass from QB Jordan Hall to Ryan Weaver deep down the middle to the FHS 40.

A third-down lob pass into the end zone earlier in the drive was batted down by FHS defensive back Braden Urevick.

But a roughing the kicker call on a 41-yard field goal attempt gave LC a first down at the Ads 11.

The next end zone lob was snagged by Panther Lucas Hamilton for a TD. It was 9-7 with 2:45 left in the third quarter.

Farragut’s second big mistake in three plays, a fumbled kickoff return, gave LC huge momentum starting at the Admirals 29.

An incomplete pass, a hard lick by Jackson for a 1-yard gain, and a running back option pass into the end zone broken up by Taino Perez stopped the Panthers.

A bad snap on a 44-yard field goal attempt ended the threat.

“We knew we had to stop them, we knew we had to get the ball back to the offense,” Taylor said.

With King’s 62-yard punt downed at the 1, plus the Ads defense, Farragut started its game-clinching drive from the LC 47 with nine minutes to play.

A seven-yard Jordan Freeman run on third-and-four, a 15-yard Perez scamper off tackle to the left, and two more Perez runs totaling 14 more had FHS first-and-goal at the 6.

Urevick took it end around right, cut it up behind right tackle, and trotted into the end zone from five yards out with 5:38 left. King’s vital extra point made it 16-7.

Meanwhile, FHS sophomore running back Jackson Fain broke loose late for separate runs of 21 yards.

Perez (21 carries, 93 yards) and Fain (eight carries, 75 yards) “really stepped it up in the second half,” Courtney said.

Lenoir City reached the FHS 29 late, bit Urevick tracked down Hall’s deep lob in the far right corner of the end zone, intercepting with 2:56 to play.

Other top Farragut plays included Freeman’s powerful 11-yard run and Urevick’s 12-yard end-around run; a Tyler Haynes minus-4 sack of Hall helped kill a drive; Callahan blew up a third-and-short run.

Garrett Bowdle broke up, and almost intercepted, a sideline pass; Taylor added a minus-one hit and a pass breakup that nearly went for a “pick-six.”

Reflecting on coach Shoup, 40, Courtney said, “First of all, a great family man, a great father and great husband. And a tremendous teacher in the business wing.

“And what he's done for us in coaching, just the impact; I've had so many former players that have come by, and called, just because of the kind of person that he was,” Courtney added.

“He had a great sense of humor about things. And he knew how to motive people, whether it was in the classroom or on the field.”

At the end of Courtney’s post-game, on-the-field team huddle, Perez shouted out, “Way to hold it down. This was for Shoup, baby.”

For the second straight week, FHS helmets featured an “RS” decal to honor coach Shoup.

Farragut wore black jerseys Friday night as a symbolic salute to the players, according to Courtney, for collectively overcoming adversity with hard work and a no-quit attitude.

Black jerseys in practice are earned, and therefore worn, by individual players reaching success “criteria,” Courtney said.

 

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