Senior wide receiver Isaiah Arrington played a key role as FHS routed Bradley Central 56-21 in the first round of the playoffs Friday night, Nov. 8, at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field.
“My shoulder is better and I worked really hard in practice and I was able to get into a rhythm with my quarterback (Gavin Wilkinson),” said Arrington, who hauled in three receptions for 137 yards and scored twice in Farragut’s first-round thrashing of the Bears. “The shoulder feels good and it feels great to get a chance to play.”
For his part, Admirals head coach Eddie Courtney was thrilled to have Arrington, who hadn’t played since late September nursing his injured shoulder.
“It was big for us to get Isaiah back because we lost (running back) Matt White again with his shoulder,” Courtney said. “He was out, and then he played (against Jefferson County), then he got hurt again.”
It was Arrington who made the first of many big scoring plays for the Admirals (6-5) when he was on the receiving end of a 62-yard touchdown pass from Wilkinson with 9 minutes, 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Bears, who finish the 2019 campaign at 7-4, would answer with an explosive play of their own when Tray Curry rumbled 67 yards for a score on Bradley Central’s first play from scrimmage as it seemed that both squads would pack plenty of firepower.
The two teams played a close tilt to open the season in mid-August with the Ads rallying for a comeback victory.
But there would be no need for any comeback in the first week of the postseason.
After Curry’s electrifying run, the Admirals exploded and built a 28-7 lead by the end of the opening frame as Gabe Hensley, Eli Purcell and Wilkinson each had touchdown dashes in the first stanza.
That was the prescription that Courtney said his team needed.
“Bradley Central is a great football team and they’re dangerous and explosive,” Courtney said. “We wanted to stay three touchdowns ahead because that was the only way we felt safe because they’re so good and so dangerous.”
After the Admirals built the big lead, they added to it and never led by less than 21 points the rest of the night.
Alec Keathley had a 1-yard scoring plunge with 10:08 left in the second quarter and Wilkinson threw a 75-yard scoring strike to Arrington just before halftime to make it 42-7.
During the postseason, intensity always picks up, but Courtney told his players to have fun against the Bears.
“Bradley Central is a good football team. Our kids, this week, we felt like we came out and practiced hard,” Courtney said. “I told them to just go out and have fun tonight.
“They are a dangerous team but I didn’t our kids to be uptight.”
And the Admirals were certainly loose and free-spirited.
“We played loose and we were aggressive,” Courtney said.
Things continued to go the Admirals’ way after halftime as sophomore Dylan Cosey recovered a Bradley Central fumble and scored on the opening kickoff.
The Bears pulled to within 49-13 with 10:49 left in the third quarter.
Farragut also got a touchdown pass from backup quarterback, sophomore Dawson Moore in the final frame. He threw an 11-yard strike to Zach Keasling with 5:34 left.
The Bears closed the scoring when Javin Burke threw a touchdown pass to Kannon Hall in the waning seconds.
Farragut will play at Maryville in another rematch Friday night. The Rebels are 11-0.