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Farragut Slips By Bradley in OT, 27-21

In 1995, it took seven overtimes for the Admirals to beat Bradley Central, this year it would only take one.

Jacob Warren catches his first TD pass of the night against Bradley 8/18. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz, CRFOTO.com

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.

Nnhamdi McSwine tackles the Bradley runner on 8/18. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz, CRFOTO.com

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.

Bradley RB is tackled by a fleet of Admirals on 8/18. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz, CRFOTO.com

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.

Isaiah Gibbs answers a Farragut prayer on 3rd and 24 against Bradley on 8/18. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz, CRFOTO.com

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.

Drew Butler stops a threatening Bradley late in the 4th with an interception on 8/18. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz, CRFOTO.com

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.

Wyatt Lucas intercepts Bradley in overtime on 8/18. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz, CRFOTO.com

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.

Jacob Warren dives in to the end zone on the game winning pass against Bradley in OT on 8/18. PHOTO CREDIT: Carlos Reveiz, CRFOTO.com

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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Preseason Over, Season and Game Week Here

After a long offseason, the Admirals are making final preparations for their week 1 opponent, Bradley Central.  The Admirals scrimmaged three quality opponents in fall camp this year. The first opponent was Ooltewah, a rematch from the 2016 quarterfinal matchup, on July 28th at Farragut. The Admirals showed poise and attacked the Owl defense both in the air and on the ground. The Admiral defense enjoyed success by hemming in the Ooltewah offense and not giving up big plays. The second scrimmage was against Cookeville on August 3rd at Farragut. The Admirals offense started slow, but found its stride and got into a rhythm and found the end zone several times. Defensively, Farragut was able to bow their backs and help the offense through its slow period. The final scrimmage of fall camp was against Greeneville on August 8th at FHS. The Admirals came out quick on offense were able to find the end zone via the ground attack on several big runs. The Admiral defense came up with several turnovers in the red zone that kept the Greene Devil offense out of the end zone.

Farragut players, from left, Jon Buell (4), Braden Collins (23) and Max Travis (5) watch the game during the annual KOC Kickoff Classic at West High School in Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday, August 11, 2017. Calvin Mattheis, Knoxville News Sentinel

Farragut also participated in the KOC Kickoff Jamboree at West High School on August 11th. The Admirals faced off against the South Doyle Cherokees, a rematch of the 2016 semi-final playoff game. The defense forced a quick 3-and-out, the led to a 7-play, 53 yard drive, that was capped off by a 7 yard, Kyle Carter TD run. Farragut’s defense came right back out to forced another 3-and

Farragut’s Isaiah Gibbs (6) is tackled by South Doyle’s Aaron Lee (54) during the annual KOC Kickoff Classic at West High School in Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday, August 11, 2017. Calvin Mattheis, Knoxville News Sentinel

-out, which setup the Admiral offense on their own 48 yard line. RB Isaiah Gibbs set the tone with  a first down, 39 yard run, but the Admirals would miss a 38 yard field goal.

Farragut’s Josh Moses (33) runs the ball during the annual KOC Kickoff Classic at West High School in Knoxville, Tennessee on Friday, August 11, 2017. Calvin Mattheis, Knoxville News Sentinel

Another defensive stop led to an 8-play, 58 yard drive, that ended wth a 4-yard, Josh Moses TD run. When the quarter ended, the Admirals found themselves victorious, 14-0 over South Doyle.

 

 

 

The Admirals turn their attention now to the Bears from Bradley Central. The Admirals open the 2017 season looking to defend the school’s first state title in history. Farragut and Bradley Central will play on Friday, August 18th at Bradley Central High School, kickoff is set for 7:30pm. Read more about this matchup by reading the matchup preview by clicking here.

Admirals Named 2017 Team of the Year

Wednesday, at the first inaugural News Sentinel Sports Awards presented by Farm Bureau Health Plans, the Farragut Admirals were named Team of the Year.

Farragut, which returned just 10 starters from the 2015 season, embarked on a run that ended with it winning its first state football championship in program history. A double overtime victory over Ooltewah in the Class 5A quarterfinals paved the way for the Admirals to get to the championship game, where it had to rally from a 28-point deficit to beat Independence.

Hardin Named 2017 KNS Leadership Award Winner

The storybook ending of Cooper Hardin’s high school football career is preserved on a DVD that he and his former Farragut High teammates still watch with wide-eyed wonder.

Cooper Hardin poses with Eric Berry, left, after winning the 2017 KNS Leadership Award.

A 45-35 Class 5A victory over defending champion Independence still qualifies as must-see entertainment. Farragut erased a 28-point deficit and scored 38 consecutive points last December to win the school’s first state football championship. It was an amazing conclusion to Hardin’s senior season.

“It’s crazy to think that was just a few months ago,” said Hardin before the News Sentinel Sports Awards.

Hardin’s role in Farragut’s magical season came from crazy circumstances, namely a major knee injury suffered during his junior year. He bounced back to play a key role for the Admirals and earn the Leadership Award Wednesday night during the ceremony at the Tennessee Theatre.

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Governor and More Honor State Champions

On Monday, May 15th, in the library at Farragut High School, Governor Bill Haslam and Knox County Schools Superintendent gathered to congratulate the 2016 Admirals football team for winning a Class 5A state championship.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, left in middle, is surrounded by Farragut High School football players in the school’s library after congratulating them for winning the 2016 Class 5A state championship Monday afternoon, May 15. Haslam and state Rep. Jason Zachary [R-District 14, including Farragut] read a proclamation on behalf of “the state of Tennessee” commending the team’s accomplishment. Alongside Haslam are Eddie Courtney, center, varsity head coach, and Ryan Siebe, right, FHS principal. In back is Donald Dodgen, Admirals athletic director.
PHOTO CREDIT: Alan Sloan, Farragut Press
State Rep. Jason Zachary [R-14th District that includes Farragut] joined Haslam to formally congratulate the football team, assembled alongside all coaches in the school’s library — doing so in the form of a proclamation, read by Zachary on behalf of “the state of Tennessee,” and in comments from both politicians.
“As a Knoxville boy who is living in Nashville because that’s where my job is, I get a little tired of hearing how good Middle Tennessee football is,” Haslam said. “And so you all, coming home with that gold ball [trophy] is kind of nice. Now I can say, ‘see, they play some serious football over there.’

“Secondly, I love not just that you won, but the way you did it,” Haslam added about FHS coming from 28 points behind twice to win during the playoffs. “… One thing that came out loud and clear was the character of this team. I’m not surprised knowing your coach [Eddie Courtney] and the other coaches.”

However, Haslam advised the student/athletes, “don’t let that be the highlight of your life. … Build on this, but don’t rest on it.”

“As a ’95 grad of Farragut, this is extra special for me to be here with you guys on behalf of Tennessee,” Zachary told the team before introducing Haslam.

“I think it was great,” FHS principal Ryan Siebe said about the visit. “The visit from the governor was obviously to highlight an incredible teacher, but he was also able to see the kind of well-rounded school we are as far as science and math and then athletics as well, so we’re really glad to have him.”

Special thanks to Alan Sloan and Carolyn Evans of the Farragut Press for covering this event.

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