FHS big plays trump McMinn wing-T grind

ATHENS — By a 20-point margin, Farragut’s big plays trumped McMinn County’s grind-it-out style from its wing-T offense.

Two long touchdowns gallops from FHS junior running back Kyle Carter in the second half, 73 and 55 yards, provided the cushion in a 34-14 Admirals victory at MCHS Friday evening, Aug. 25.

While Farragut [2-0] practically abandoned its running game in the second quarter, “We felt like we were making so many mistakes,” FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said, as the Ads led 14-6 at the break. “We were still wanting a big play to happen, so I said, ‘No, we’re going to have to get behind the offensive line and run the football.’

“I challenged the kids and they did that,” he added. “I felt like we had to do that. ... We had to make sure we rested our defense.”

“The O-line, they blocked great all night,” said Carter, who also scored from 2 yards out 25 seconds into the fourth quarter.

“We just got our blocks and kept going for six seconds, that’s all you need really,” FHS senior offensive lineman Jonathan Buchanan said.

“We just did what we had to do,” senior offensive lineman Andrew Maxey said. “Kyle made the plays work, even if we made mistakes.”

Isaiah Gibbs’ 38-yard fumble return for a touchdown came during Farragut’s first defensive play.

“Overall I think we did good,” Gibbs, a junior defensive back/running back, said about his defense. “In the beginning it was a little shaky, but we adjusted to the wing-T.”

Drew Butler, senior middle linebacker, had a number of key minus-yardage stops anticipating the Cherokees wing-T plays.

“I give credit to the whole defense, everyone did their job like they needed to,” Butler said.

Cade Burkey and Alex Williams, linebackers; Anthony Lawson and Nnamdi McSwine, defensive linemen, and Andrew Williams, defensive back — all seniors — also were prominent Ads on key tackles.

Gavin Wilkinson’s 75-yard TD pass down the middle to wide open senior tight end Jacob Warren, a Tennessee Vols commitment, came 16 seconds into the second quarter.

“We’ll see [this] week if Max [Travis, starting senior quarterback with a broken finger] is ready to go or not,” Courtney said.

As for special teams, “I thought Griffen Swicegood did a good job punting the ball,” Courtney said.

Wyatt Lucas blocked McMinn’s first extra point attempt.

The Cherokees fell to 1-1.