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Ads crank up attack, stop McMinn rushing

ATHENS — The Friendly City, as Athens dubs itself, was more like the “Three-and-Out” City for most of the first half at McMinn County High School Friday.

While defense ruled early, a 14-yard Cody Rule pass to Madison Brown set up Jacob Johnson's 9-yard scoring run (49-yard drive) as FHS loosened things up a bit late in the first half Sept. 9.

Johnson's 58-yard TD run in the third quarter, along with a 7-yard touchdown drive thanks to a low McMinn punt snap, provided Farragut a 21-point cushion.

It ended 24-14 Ads, despite only 207 yards of total offense thanks to a McMinn defense FHS head coach Eddie Courtney labeled as “really physical, aggressive.”

Farragut's defense, led by a stout defensive line and linebacker Matt Lee’s team-leading 11 tackles, held McMinn (2-2) to minus-7 yards rushing, including eight tackles for minus yardage (four sacks).

“Every-one was playing their positions right, and we just stuffed them in the backfield several times,” senior defensive end/offensive lineman Caleb Whitney said. “We did definitely blow them off the ball at the beginning of the game.”

Courtney said, “The last two weeks I think these guys on defense have really gotten better. In the first half I was proud of what they did. They made some big plays for us. We wanted to try and get them out of rhythm and I think we were able to do that. We mixed up some blitzes and mixed up some things in coverage.”

Courtney praised his defensive line: Whitney, end Robert Wrinkle, nitro C.T. Leavell and reserves Chris Beason and Josh Gbendah.

Senior Tyler Nugent said about his fellow FHS linebackers, “It's about time we started getting respect. I think we took a step forward on that this game. Coach Courtney prepares us with some really good scouting reports.”

The Ads' defense did allow 261 yards passing (19-of-34) that included several long fourth quarter completions on lob passes.

“In the second half, when we mixed the coverages up, we got hurt by it,” Courtney said. “And they had some good athletes out there winning the jump balls.”

However, interceptions by Johnson, defensive back Christian Jetton and linebacker Jake Bruce were critical for FHS (3-1).

While Rule's rushing was held in check (13 tries, 16 yards) despite a 2-yard scoring run, Johnson had 125 yards (20 tries).

Ads kicker Jonathan King nailed a 51-yard field goal and booted a 54-yard punt.


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