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Ads bend but don’t break


MARYVILLE — Farragut's defense taught a Bend But Don't Break 101 class Friday night.

In a game where the homestanding William Blount Govern-ors never punted until the final minutes of the fourth quarter yet scored only seven points, Farragut turned three Govs mistakes into TD gold.

And turned back a seemingly sure touchdown with an interception.

The Admirals' 30-7 win at Mike White Field Oct. 29 ensured FHS (6-4 overall, 5-2 in District 4-AAA) a Class 6A playoff spot as district runner-up.

Offensively, Farragut’s running trio of Jordan Freeman (16 carries, 106 yards, two touchdowns) Jackson Fain (eight carries, 62 yards, one touchdown) and Ty Perez (eight carries, 46 yards) accounted for about two-thirds of the Ads’ 325 yards total offense.


“Jackson Fain and Jordan Freeman, those guys were like third team when we started the season,” FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said. “And they're good, we just had some pretty good backs in front of them.

“Coach [David] Sweetland and the offensive staff have done a great job making adjustments every week.”

William Blount (3-7, 1-6) turned it over twice on its first three plays, resulting in two Ads TDs in less than four minutes.

Bao Nguyen recovered a Govs fumble at the WBHS 42 on the second play from scrimmage.

“I knew I had to step it up on defense,” said Nguyen, a senior defensive back who ended with 11 total tackles and later killed a WB first-and-goal scoring chance with an interception.

A Perez 8-yard run preceded Fain's 32-yard touchdown scamper. The sophomore used a nice block on the right side of FHS's offensive line, cut inside, then shot diagonally to the right goal line pylon.

Jonathan King's extra point made it 7-0 2:05 into the game.

One more Govs offensive play, one more turnover. Perez intercepted a Zach Owens pass with a nice fingertip grab at the WB 35.

Defensively, “The last three weeks we're starting to really get the chemistry of the guys playing together,” Courtney said. “We've gone through so many guys on defense — we went the first seven weeks [and] didn't have the same guys side by side playing.”

As running back, Perez then took a pitch left, avoided two tacklers and got 14. Freeman capped the drive by trucking powerfully up the gut and past a few arm tackle attempts for a 13-yard TD.

Perez said, “Jackson and Jordan they did a great job tonight running the ball, gave us some hard runs.” It was 14-0 with 8:36 still left in the opening quarter.

A minus-5 hit from senior linebacker Thomas Jackson was critical to stall a Govs drive reaching the FHS 17.

“Thomas Jackson got healthy, so he's back and he started for us last year,” Courtney said. “Brooks [Harper] is having a great year. Conner Taylor stepped up when Robbie [Leonard] got injured.”

Garrett Bowdle, senior defensive back, led Farragut with 12 total tackles. Harper added nine and Andrew Tindal seven.

A 32-yard William Blount field goal sailed wide right with 2:29 left in the first quarter. King booted a 29-yard field goal with 8:17 left in the half making it 17-0 Ads.

Tindal's fumble recovery, set up by hits from Taylor and Robert Wrinkle on a third down run, put FHS in business at the Govs 34.

Three Freeman runs straight ahead gained 29 to the WB 5.

Freeman got the last five yards doing his thing — powering over WB defenders for a 24-7 lead with 4:16 left in the third quarter.

Nguyen intercepted an Owens play-action pass, a lob just two yards from paydirt, in the back of the end zone with 8:56 to play.

King's 43-yard play-action pass found WR Jason Bodak deep down the left sideline to the WB 16.

King's 10-yard rollout strike to Braden Urevick at the 3 set up Harper, who scored on the next play, up the gut, making it 30-7 with 3:47 to play.

“He can throw the ball downfield; it's making defenses respect us more with the passing game,” Perez said of King, a back-up pressed into the starting role. “So it's opening up big holes for the running backs.”

Judah White added a minus-yardage tackle late helping force the Govs’ first punt of the game.

 

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