A 66-yard Powell pass play, then a red-zone interception from the Panthers defense made things interesting early — if only for a few minutes — at Farragut’s Bill Clabo Field.
The Admirals turned dominant five minutes into this season-opener Friday night, Aug. 19, scoring 28 first-quarter points, racking up 422 total yards of offense and rolling to an easy 55-6 victory.
“I was proud of the way they responded after the jamboree the other night [one-sided loss to Webb],” Admirals skipper Eddie Courtney said.
Junior Braden Collins helped set up Farragut’s first two
touchdowns. His two catches from senior quarterback Adam Fulton, 10 and 19 yards, preceded Amon Johnson’s 8-yard scoring run. The first of seven Joe Doyle conversion kicks made it 7-0.
Johnson scored from the Panther 1 after Collins’ 40-yard punt return. It was 14-0 with 4:10 left in the first quarter.
Junior linebacker Drew Butler’s 15-yard interception return for a touchdown made it 21-0.
“I saw the wide receiver cut in, and I saw the quarterback looking straight at him and I knew it was coming my way,” Butler said.
As for Farragut’s overall defense, Butler reflected back to the Admirals’ jamboree loss to Webb. “We didn’t like that at all, the jamboree, and we’ve been practicing all week to do better,” he said. “We were really prepared in this game.”
A 23-yard Dalton run helped set up Johnson’s 9-yard scoring run making it 28-0 with 38.3 seconds still left in the opening quarter.
“I can’t say enough about our running backs,” Courtney said.
Meanwhile, FHS senior defensive lineman Will Everett had tackles for minus-3, 0 and 1-yard gains in the first quarter alone.
“All around tonight we clicked. We had some issues last week in the jamboree against Webb, but tonight I think we really brought it,” Everett said.
Less than 30 seconds into the second quarter, Dalton hit Davis Simmons in stride on a post pattern for a 52-yard TD making it 35-0. Simmons ended with 101 yard receiving.
A 44-yard run by sophomore Isaiah Gibbs (99 for the game), plus a 10-yard scamper by back-up quarterback Max Travis, a junior, helped Farragut go 81 yards to make it 42-6. Travis scored from 6 yards out.
“I came in and ran it, gave the defense a different look. … I’ve got a lot of work to do in the passing game, but I feel like I took advantage of what they gave me and I ran pretty well,” Travis said.
“Our plan was fourth or fifth series we were going to get Max in there, regardless of the score,” Courtney said.
Travis also had a diving interception at cornerback. “They threw a little slant and our outside linebacker tipped it and luckily I was there,” he said. “… All credit to Alex Williams [outside linebacker] on that play.”
Cooper Hardin, senior linebacker/running back, suffered an apparent knee injury early in the second quarter, only to shake it off and return late in the quarter.
Though Hardin hurt the same knee late in the first half and did not return, “He’ll be alright,” Courtney said, adding Hardin is scheduled to play at Gibbs this Friday, Aug. 26.
With the Mercy Rule speeding up the clock, the Admirals still had time for a pair of fourth-quarter TDs.
Sophomore Jake Evans, third-string quarterback, hit sophomore Wyatt Lucas on a 24-yard scoring strike.
Eric Smith, sophomore running back, racked up some fourth-quarter yards and scored from three yards out.
Hardin recorded a pair of 11-yard sacks while killing a PHS reverse with a minus-3 stop.
Courtney also praised offensive linemen Chance Bolen, Chris Aranda, Jonathan Buchanan, Andrew Maxey and Everett.
“I thought the overall effort was great,” Bolen, a senior, said.
“The [offensive] line did great, they were clicking tonight,” Fulton, who passed for 139 yards, said. “… Especially down near the goal line.”
That 66-yard Powell pass play, a quick toss left from quarterback Carson Cole to receiver Hunain Rasheed, looked like a possible touchdown play down the left sideline — except Rasheed simply lost the ball inside the FHS 20.
“He just lost control of the ball,” Powell head coach Rodney Ellison said. “That was a tough break because it looked like he had a touchdown.”
The Panthers ended up attempting a 32-yard field goal that didn’t get off the ground thanks to bobbling the snap.
Despite the bad break, “They’re a lot bigger and more physical than us, and we’ve only got 11 seniors,” Ellison said. “… They’ve got a great team, coach Courtney’s a great coach.”