Pulling away late in the first half, Ads honor their ailing head coach, beat M-West 45-14
On a night when the Farragut High School football team didn’t have its head coach, it did exactly what longtime head man Eddie Courtney would’ve loved to see. While Courtney was home recovering from prostate cancer surgery, his team notched a homecoming victory.
The Admirals scored early and often en route to nabbing a 45-14 victory over Morristown West in their Region 1-6A opener Friday night, Sept. 18, at Bill Clabo Field. (See related story on page 1A)
FHS (3-1 overall, 1-0 in the region) darted out to a fast start and took a 14-0 lead by first quarter’s end, as junior quarterback Dawson Moore had a record-setting night.
Moore, who was making just his fourth career start, threw for a school record six touchdowns against the Trojans (2-1, 1-1).
Moore said the Ads took what the Trojans gave them.
“We started off running to see how it went, and we weren’t really consistent with the running, so we went to the passing,” said Moore, who went 13-for-21 for 321 yards through the air. “Obviously, there were a lot of holes open so we kept attacking, attacking and attacking until we couldn’t anymore.
“We ended up racking up as many points as we could, scoring with passing, and it ended up real well,” he added.
Moore made his receivers happy, as he spread the wealth.
Matt White had five receptions for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Zach Keasling pulled in three catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Trace Corum finished with a pair of receptions and amassed 61 yards and scored a TD, and Alex Taylor was on the receiving end of a 29-yard touchdown pass that gave the Ads a 35-14 with 9.4 seconds remaining in the first half.
White caught Moore’s first two scoring strikes of the contest. His 6-yard TD got Farragut on the board. Kicker Reese Keeney added the extra point to make the score 7-0 less than three minutes into the contest.
The duo connected again late in the opening frame, this time from 25 yards out, to extend the Admirals’ advantage to 14-0.
After the Trojans pulled to within 14-7 in the inaugural stages of the second stanza, Farragut responded when Moore connected with Keasling from 55 yards out.
Morristown West pulled to within 21-14 on a 16-yard scamper by Hunter Delaney with 4:33 left until halftime.
From there, the Ads would take control by scoring the last 14 points of the opening half. White caught a 68-yard touchdown pass and Taylor had his scoring reception to give Farragut the lead it enjoyed at halftime.
In his father’s absence, FHS offensive coordinator Geoff Courtney served as interim head coach.
“I just thought we needed to do what’s best for the kids to get ready to get a victory,” the younger Courtney said. “That’s what coach would’ve wanted.
“He preaches eliminate distractions, especially on Friday night,” Geoff added.
“He did not want to be a distraction in any of this. The extra emotion, whatever it was, we just had to decompartmentalize that and put it off to the side, just go do what we needed to do as a staff and players and execute on Friday.”
Defensively, Trey Nesbitt recovered a fumble and Joe Maine had an interception for FHS, which went up 42-14 when Moore had a 55-yard touchdown strike to Corum midway through the fourth quarter.
Maine’s interception late in the third quarter led to points when Keeney kicked a 41-yard field goal with 11:49 left in the final frame.