CLEVELAND — With its starting quarterback out and most explosive wide receiver not playing after halftime due to injuries, Farragut nevertheless took up where it left off in 2016: winning a thriller in come-from-behind fashion.
Senior Jacob Warren hauled in his fourth and final touchdown pass of the evening from junior quarterback Jacob Evans — in his first career varsity start behind center — a 12-yard slant pass for the winning score in overtime, a 27-21 Admirals victory at Bradley Central.
“I think Jake did a good job leading our offense for his first start,” FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said. “He did a good job of reading the coverage and getting the ball to Jacob.”
This season-opening win Friday evening, Aug. 18, saw the Admirals dodge a major bullet to begin OT when Bradley’s offense marched from the FHS 10 to the Admirals 1 on two downs. But an illegal procedure penalty backed up the Black and Gold 5 yards. A touchdown pass was then negated by a holding call.
Going for it on fourth and 16, after first sending out its field goal unit, Bradley’s OT drive ended with an interception from Farragut junior Wyatt Lucas.
Two Jake Evans-to-Jacob Warren touchdown passes early in the opening quarter put the Admirals up 14-0.
The first came only 66 seconds into the game from 45 yards out, capping a 74-yard drive.
An interception and return by Alex Williams, Admirals senior outside linebacker, ended the Bears’ first drive at the Bradley 25. A 22-yard Evans-to-Warren TD hook-up made it 14-0 with 8:02 left in the first quarter.
Junior kicker Dalton Haliburton was 3-of-3 on extra point attempts despite missing a field goal.
Andrew Williams, a senior safety, ended a Bears’ drive deep into FHS territory with an interception late in the first half.
But Bradley held Farragut deep in its own territory, forcing a punt and starting at its own 47 late in the half.
Two Bears’ passes covering 53 yards, the final a 25-yard scoring strike from junior quarterback Dylan Standifer to Nick Howell, cut the Farragut lead in half with 57 seconds left before the break.
Bradley tied the game on its second possession of the third quarter, marching 68 yards.
A 29-yard reception took BCHS to the Ads 3, setting up a short touchdown run. With the conversion kick true, the issue was tied 14-14 midway into the third.
Following an interception early in the fourth quarter, Bradley took its first lead starting at the FHS 38. Howell’s 14-yard scoring run and conversion kick made it 21-14 Bears with 6:56 left in regulation.
Facing third-and-long from its own 15, a screen pass to Isaiah Gibbs went for 44 yards, plus a 15-yard facemask penalty, moving Farragut to the Bradley 26.
The third Evans-to-Warren TD connection came on third-and-11, covering 27 yards deep down the middle with 4:40 left. It was 21-21.
About Kyle Carter and Isaiah Gibbs, the Ads top two running backs, Courtney said, “Kyle’s does a good job getting yards after contact. Isaiah’s so quick and has good speed. And they both block well.
“They were very productive.”
A 31-yard Carter run to the Bradley 5 was negated by offsetting penalties in the third quarter. The Admirals eventually punted.
Drew Butler, senior linebacker, also recovered a fumble.
“The linebacker corps, led by Drew Butler, played well. Drew had about 13 tackles,” Courtney said.
“We felt like if we got pressure we could force some mistakes, and that’s what we did early.”