Sad ending, special careers

Maryville jumps way ahead early, cruises past Ads in 6A 2nd round

MARYVILLE — Maryville football has been so dominant against East Tennessee playoff teams in the 21st century, it rarely has won by less than a double-digit margin — almost all have been blowouts with many outcomes decided by halftime.

Though far less dominant, Farragut’s program entered last Friday’s Class 6A playoff second-round showdown against the mighty Red Rebels with its own single-digit success: not losing by more than eight points the past three seasons — defeated just five times since 2014.

Perhaps an early hit set the tone for Maryville’s continuing blowout success against East Tennessee foes.

An apparent first-down reception early in the game by talented FHS senior tight-end Jacob Warren, a Tennessee commitment, was jarred loose on a vicious hit.

Maryville [11-1] didn’t punt in the first half, making things look easy on both sides of the ball — and special teams — with 38 first-half points.

The Red Rebels also turned back the Admirals’ one good first-half drive with an interception. It ended as a 38-6 Maryville victory Nov. 10 at MHS’ Jim Renfro Field. Farragut’s season concludes 9-3.

A 52-yard bomb from junior Jake Evans, Admirals back-up quarterback, to senior receiver Andrew Williams set up Farragut’s only points by placing FHS at the Rebels 1. Devin Yarborough, senior running back, scored on the next play with just 1:31 left in the game.

About Maryville, Williams said, “They executed their offense well and they executed their defense really well, and that’s just what it takes to win.”

Nnamdi McSwine, senior defensive end, said the Red Rebels “are a hard team to beat. They’re well-coached, they don’t give up much. They don’t jump off-sides or anything.”

Eddie Courtney, Admirals skipper, labeled the game “disappointing,” adding, “I know we’re a better football team than what we showed tonight.

“… We didn’t help ourselves out early. At the end we tried to make some things happen and have some fun out there.”

However, “You’ve got to give Maryville credit, playing on all cylinders tonight and executing real well,” Courtney said.

McSwine and Williams were among the Admirals seniors who reflected on the their careers at FHS.

Jackson Powers, offensive tackle, said, “Overall we went 33-6 over the past three years, and I think that’s pretty good.

“Overall, I think me and my team have built friendships and a bond, and it’s beyond what you can get in any other sport.

“I’m never, ever going to lose what I made on and off the field with my brothers,” Powers added. “Coach Courtney and the other [coaches] have helped me grow as a person. I’ve really matured through the team.

“I’m really thankful for everything that I’ve been given over the past four years.”

Jonathan Buchanan, offensive guard, said, “I couldn’t have asked for anything more. The coaches here are incredible. It’s been an honor to play with them.

“It’s been a great career,” he added.

McSwine said, “The past three years have been amazing. All of these guys here are my brothers. I wouldn’t ask for a better team to play for. I want to say, ‘good luck’ to the guys for next year.”

Williams, also a defensive back, said, “It was a great time. We got to win a lot of games and play with my brothers. It was fun.”

“We’ve had a good run this year,” Courtney said. “… I know this senior group has had a lot of success the last three years [including the Class 5A state championship in 2016].

“I know they’re going to be successful you men,” he added. “In the next five to 10 years, people are going to see another chapter in their lives about how successful they’ll be.

“I love these guys. I appreciate their effort.”