Thursday night was a special night at Bill Clabo Field, not only did the Admirals have their 2017 home opener and debut a new scoreboard, they also remembered five members of the Admiral family that were lost over the past offseason. Coach Ken Sparks, Coach Lendon Welch, Teacher Charlotte Welch, Longtime Statistician Shannon Gossage, and Coach Buddy Fisher, who all played vital roles in Farragut Football’s history, were honored before kickoff on the new Jumbotron.
On the gridiron, the Admirals found themselves in unfamiliar territory by opening the game with the ball and punting, as opposed to scoring on the first drive of the game as they did at McMinn and Bradley. Luckily, the Admiral defense locked in and forced a Morristown West punt on the ensuing drive, setting up Farragut with the ball at their own 19 yard line.
First time starter at QB Gavin Wilkinson, a sophomore, found Jacob Warren for a 28-yard pass reception, that setup a 51-yard touchdown pass from Wilkinson to Andrew Williams two plays later. This put the Admirals on the board 6-0 with 5:59 left in the first quarter. The Admiral defense stayed strong on the next drive, forcing a 3-and-out to set up the Admirals offense up at their own 45 yard line following the Trojans’ punt.
A 39-yard pass from Wilkinson to Tanner Corum, paved the way for a 2-yard Isaiah Gibbs touchdown run. The Admiral defense would again force a 3-and-out for the Trojans, and a 46-yard punt return by Isaiah Gibbs would give the ball to the Admiral offense on the 20 yard line going in. First down would see a four yard loss on a sack, but a facemark penalty would replay the first down play.
Isaiah Gibbs carried for 5 yards. Then, on second down, Wilkinson would find WR Jaden Gibbs for his first touchdown catch of the year. At the end of the first quarter, the Admirals led 20-0.
The Trojan offense would find some life of its own, marching 80 yards on 11 plays, to punch it in from the 2-yard line on 4th down. The Admiral offense found themselves way behind the sticks due to a 14-yard loss on a bad snap. Farragut would punt the ball away, and Mo-West would take over on their 47 yard line.
The Trojan drive would stall out, but left room for a 43-yard successful field goal try. With just two minutes left before halftime, the Admirals got into hurry-up mode to try and score before the horn sounded. Unfortunately the drive stalled in the red zone, and the Admirals couldn’t connect on a 28-yard FG attempt. At half, Farragut led 20-10.
The second half proved to be all Farragut though, the defense set the tone early as it forced an interception on a tipped ball, as Isaiah Gibbs was able to catch the deflection and give the ball back to the Admirals. Farragut would throw an interception of their own, but following a Trojan stop on 4th down, the Admirals would cash in on their ensuing drive. It was the second touchdown connection from Wilkinson to Andrew Williams, this time for a 39-yard score.
At the end of the third quarter, the Admirals led Mo-West 27-10. The defense again showed their grit, as they forced a turnover on downs, as the Trojans could not convert on a fourth-and-one. The Admirals would then embark on a 9-play drive that saw them get into the end zone on three separate occasions. The first being a 64-yard TD run by Isaiah Gibbs, only to be negated by a holding penalty.
The next was a 60-yard TD pass from Wilkinson to Jacob Warren, but this time a block in the back behind the play wiped the score off the board. The third time was a charm though, as a broken-play off a bad snap found QB Gavin Wilkinson scrambling around to eventually find Wyatt Lucas for the 28-yard TD catch. This made the final score 33-10 in favor of the Admirals. Farragut improves to 3-0 overall, earning their first region 1-6A win of the season.
Farragut will play host next Friday, as the Oak Ridge Wildcats come to Bill Clabo Field. The Admirals will look to avenge a loss a year ago to the Wildcats, the only blemish on state championship run of 2016.
A special thanks to Carlos Reveiz and Ashley Wathen of CRFOTO for the action shots from the game. Be sure to checkout CRFOTO.com every week for a full photo gallery from Friday’s game. See a photo you like? They are also available for purchase directly from his website. Click here for this week’s photos.
OFFICIAL GAME STATS
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