Farragut back to Region 1-6A, hits road vs. 3-1 Pats

When Farragut High School’s football team returns to action Friday night, it will put its perfect 4-0 record and its 16-game winning streak on the line against Jefferson County in Dandridge.

Admirals head coach Eddie Courtney said the Patriots will present a tough challenge for his team Friday evening, Sept. 15.

“They’re a 3-1 football team and they’ve grown up a lot and they’ve gotten better each week,” Courtney said of the Patriots [0-1 in Region 1-6A]. “They beat Carter [last] week and they had a [23-0] loss to Bearden.

“But they were very much in that game. They opened against Sevier County and they won 6-3 and they’ve grown a lot and gotten a lot better since then. Their kids are starting to understand what coach [Spencer] Riley wants them to do.”

Jefferson County runs a double-slot veer offense, while Patriots quarterback Nathan Seal has emerged as an undisputed team leader on offense.

“They’re well-coached and their quarterback does a good job running their offense,” Courtney said. “But the biggest place where they’ve really improved is on defense.

“This will be another tough game for us. It’s the next one up. And it’s a region game. So it’s a really important game for us.”

The Patriots and Admirals have met 10 times and both teams have won five games in the all-time series. Farragut has won the last three games between the two schools.

They last played in the 2007 playoffs where the Admirals nabbed a 43-14 victory. Farragut also won in 1999 (21-14) and 2000 (42-2).

The Admirals (4-0, 1-0) enter Friday night’s road game in Dandridge after a dominating victory. FHS knocked off longtime rival Oak Ridge 41-0 last week at Bill Clabo Field.

That game marked the first time the Wildcats were shut out in nearly a quarter-century. Riverdale blanked Oak Ridge in the 1993 playoffs.

Oak Ridge was the last team to defeat the Admirals. That was in 2016 at Blankenship Field. The Ads had a late comeback bid come up just short in a 30-25 loss over Labor Day weekend.

Farragut hasn’t lost since and it has found a formula for success, which was put on display last week.

“We were unselfish and everybody contributed,” Courtney said after his team’s latest victory. “That’s what I was proudest of.”

Senior wide receiver Braden Collins, who suffered an ankle injury in Farragut’s season-opening victory at Bradley Central, returned for FHS last week. He had nine receptions [including a touchdown] and amassed 166 yards.

Collins certainly impressed Oak Ridge head coach Joe Gaddis Friday night.

“He’s a great player. There’s no doubt about that,” Gaddis said. “He’s a great addition for them.”

Farragut sparked defensively as it forced two fumbles. Linebacker Devin Yarborough also had a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown.