For two weeks Farragut High School wide receiver Braden Collins was sidelined while nursing an ankle injury, but he made an impact upon returning to the lineup Friday night,
“I worked hard rehabbing for the last couple of weeks and tonight, I just wanted to come back,” said Collins, who had nine receptions and caught a touchdown pass in the Admirals’ 41-0 victory over Oak Ridge at Bill Clabo Field. “I wanted to get back out there and help my team and that’s what I did.”
Collins, who had 166 receiving yards against the Wildcats (2-2), was one of several players to contribute for Farragut, which improved to 4-0 and won its 16th consecutive game.
“The thing that I’m proudest of is that we played together,” Admirals head coach Eddie Courtney said after watching his squad shut out Oak Ridge, which was the last team to notch a win over FHS early during the 2016 campaign. “We were unselfish and everybody contributed.”
The Wildcats moved the ball on their first possession but things came to a halt when Oak Ridge quarterback Johnny Stewart fumbled and Farragut’s Alex Williams recovered with 8 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Ads, however, went three-and-out after the fumble. But they would score a couple of minutes later.
Farragut took a 7-0 lead with 4:54 to play in the frame when Kyle Carter scored on a 19-yard scamper.
The Admirals would extend their advantage to 14-0 when Gavin Wilkinson connected with Collins on a 7-yard scoring strike with 15.2 seconds remaining in the second stanza.
While Farragut posted one of its most dominant wins in recent memory, the Wildcats, which suffered the program’s first shutout since the 1993 playoffs, were plagued by self-inflicted damage. They had two turnovers deep in Farragut territory. They also had several dropped passes, including a sure touchdown.
“We were our own worst enemy tonight,” Oak Ridge head coach Joe Gaddis said. “We had two turnovers inside their 15-yard line, including the one that we had on that first series.
“Then we dropped a touchdown pass and we missed on another one. When you do those things against a good football team, it’s not a good combination,” he added. “That’s four scores that we could’ve and should’ve had.
“If we just kick a field goal on those, the game might’ve looked a little different.”
The Admirals scored on their first possession of the second half. Farragut’s defense forced a fumble and Caleb Kuhn recovered deep in FHS territory.
The Ads would score four plays later to make it 21-0 on a 1-yard plunge by Isaiah Gibbs. The touchdown was set up by a 70-yard reception by Collins that put the ball on Oak Ridge’s 1-yard line.
Carter scored his second TD of the game on a 7-yard run late in the third quarter.
Farragut’s defense joined the scoring parade early in the final frame when senior linebacker Devin Yarborough returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown to make the score 35-0.
The Admirals capped the victory when Jake Evans threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Alec Keathley with 1:01 left in the game.