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Ads ‘milestone’ BHS
State’s No. 1 Rebels travel to No. 7 FHS

The Farragut High School football team gave longtime coach Eddie Courtney a belated 58th birthday present Thursday, Oct.6.

The Admirals started fast and downed rival Bearden 31-14 before a packed house at Bearden’s Bill Young Field.

“This was big for us,” said Farragut senior running back/defensive back Jacob Johnson, who ran for a touchdown and was on the receiving end of another score in the Ads’ victory. “This was big because our seniors have never lost to Bearden and [Oct. 5] was coach Courtney’s birthday and we wanted to go out there and get that win for him.”

This most recent battle against the two foes was a milestone victory for the Ads and Courtney. Last week’s victory was the 400th in the program’s history. It was also the 100th win of Courtney’s career.

Last Thursday’s game was Farragut’s 10th consecutive regular-season victory in the series. The Admirals have three wins in four playoff games against the ’Dawgs during the last decade.

“I’ll enjoy this when I get home,” said Courtney, Farragut’s head coach since 1996. “I guess this means that I’ve been around for a long time, but I still enjoy it.

“This game is always big for our kids and it’s big for our student body. We just keep getting better every week and that’s the thing that I’m most proud of. [Bearden] coach [Brad] Taylor has done a good job. They’ve [also] gotten better every week since their first game at Hardin Valley.”

The Admirals (6-1 overall, 4-0 in District 4-AAA) wasted little time taking control of the latest battle between longtime rivals.

Farragut recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff on the Bearden 17-yard line.

Senior quarterback Cody Rule scored on a 16-yard scamper. Jonathan King added the extra point. “I knew special teams would be big and we had to have that,” Courtney said. “We didn’t want to give them anything to be happy about.”

Bearden (4-3, 2-1) engineered a 16-play drive that consumed nearly eight minutes. The Bulldogs, however, were unable to score. The drive ended when Robert Wrinkle and a host of Admiral defenders sacked Nick Frizen for a nine-yard loss.

Farragut then took possession at its 12 and marched 83 yards on 12 plays before stalling at the BHS 5. King’s 22-yard field goal made it 10-0 early in the second stanza.

The Admirals would extend their lead to 17-0 when Rule connected with Johnson on a 36-yard touchdown pass with 4:28 remaining in the first half. Johnson finished with 148 rushing yards and caught four passes for 74 yards.

The Dawgs finally got on the board when Frizen hit Josh Haney on a 66-yard TD pass with 3:16 left in the second quarter.

That would be Bearden’s only score of the opening 24 minutes. The Bulldogs, however, had plenty of chances on some long drives.

“I think our offense played pretty well and our defense made some plays when he had to have them,” Courtney said. “I don’t think I called a particularly good defensive game tonight.”

Johnson and Rule both had touchdown runs in the third quarter. Johnson’s 55-yard scamper came on Farragut’s first possession of the second half while Rule’s 2-yard plunge culminated a 10-play, 86-yard drive.

“The win wasn’t easy but I feel like we really did a good job,” Rule said. “We’re playing a tough team next week.”

Keeping its starters in most of the game, Farragut surrendered a late 1-yard TD run to Haney.

The Ads, No. 7 ranked statewide in Class 6A, will host top-ranked Maryville (7-0, 4-0), defending 6A state champ, starting at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14.


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