In 1995, it took seven overtimes for the Admirals to beat Bradley Central, this year it would only take one.
The Admirals received the opening kickoff and marched down the field on a 5-play, 54 yard drive that was capped off by a 45-yard Jake Evans to Jacob Warren touchdown pass.
On the ensuing Bradley possession, an Alex Williams interception and 35 yard return set the Admirals at the Bears’ 25 yard line. This time it took only 3 plays for the Admirals to find the end zone, again via the Evans to Warren connection, this time for 22 yards. Caleb Kuhn’s 9-yard sack on third down would force the Bears to punt on the next series. The Admirals found themselves again deep in Bradley territory, but couldn’t convert on 3rd and 4, and a 28-yard field goal attempt missed wide left. The Bears took over the ball at the 20 yard line, but after two first downs, a Kyle Carter sack forced a Bear punt and the end of the first stanza. The first quarter ended with Farragut up 14-0 on Bradley Central.
Farragut and Bradley would trade processions to open the second quarter, but an Andrew Williams interception would end a Bear drive.
Farragut’s ensuing drive never got going, and after a Griffen Swicegood punt, Bradley took over possession on their own 48-yard line. Three plays later, a 25-yard touchdown pass put Bradley on the board with :55 left until halftime. Farragut took the lead into halftime, 14-7.
Bradley received the 2nd half kickoff, but again would trade series with Farragut, both not seeing much doing offensively. Bradley’s second possession of the third quarter was more successful. The Bears march 62 yards on 10 plays for a touchdown, to tie the game at 14-14 with 5:54 left in the third quarter.
The Admirals took the ball and and moved down field on an 11-play 44 yard drive, but saw it cut short by an interception. Bradley took over at their own 17-yard line, but after two first downs, failed to convert on a 3rd and 2 to keep the drive alive. The Bears punted away to begin the fourth quarter.
Farragut would take over from their own 20-yard line to start the fourth quarter, but an interception would kill the drive before it ever got going. Bradley started in Farragut territory at the 37-yard line and punched it in 7 plays later from the 14-yard line to take their first lead of the game, 21-14 with 6:50 left to play. The Admirals next drive was the highlight of the night. After a penalty and a negative yardage play, the Ads found themselves in a 3rd and 23 situation.
Enter Isaiah Gibbs, the junior tailback caught a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage, juked, jived, and cutback across the field to out run several defenders to provide a 47-yard spark for the Admiral offense. Four plays later, Jake Evans found Jacob Warren once again, this time from 26-yards out, to tie the game at 21-21 with 4:30 left in the game. Following the ensuing kickoff, Farragut’s defense would force a quick punt, but Bradley would return the favor. Swicegood punted the ball to Bradley where they would begin the drive at their own 20-yard line. After two long pass plays, the Admirals found themselves in a dangerous position, the Bears had driven to the Farragut 25 with less than a minute to go.
Senior LB Drew Butler would save the day though, intercepting a third down pass and allowing Admiral Nation to breathe a sigh of relief once again. In lieu of trying to go 92 yards to score in under :50 seconds, the Admirals opted for overtime.
After winning the toss, the Admirals elected to play defense first in overtime. With the ball at the 10, the Bears were able to find the end zone on second down, but the play was called back due to an illegal shift. After a holding penalty on third down, the Bears were forced into a 4th and Goal from the 24-yard line. The Bears then had to make a decision on whether to kick the FG or go for it.
The Bears initially ran the FG team onto the field, only to call a timeout moments before the snap. They decided then to go for it. Farragut’s defense came up with another big stop, this time a Wyatt Lucas interception in the end zone. Farragut took over the ball at the 10, needing just a single point to win the game.
On 2nd down, for the fourth time of the evening, Jake Evans found Jacob Warren on a 12-yard pass to score, the duos fourth of the night, and propel the Admirals to a 27-21 victory over Bradley. While it certainly wasn’t the 7-overtime thriller from 1995, it was certainly thrilling enough for Admiral Nation.
The Admirals begin the season 1-0 and will face a tough McMinn County team next week, a rematch from the 1st round of the 2016 playoffs. Both teams look to improve to 2-0 on the young season.
OFFICIAL GAME STATS
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