MAC JV champs

Bolen’s FMS team holds off Bearden 8-6 on the road

  • Members of head coach Dustin Bolen’s Farragut Admirals 12-U football team, Knox County Middle School-Aged Conference Junior Varsity champs, celebrate — with the gold trophy — after slipping past rival Bearden 8-6 in the title game at Bearden High School’s Bill Young Field Thursday evening, Oct. 22. - Photos by Alan Sloan

  • Admiral defenders Moses Burnette (44), Jackson Plumlee (middle in dark jersey) and Hunter Bolen (left in dark jersey) fight off blocks attempting to tackle Bearden ballcarrier Antonio Vega — in Moses’ case forcing a direct hit. - Photos by Alan Sloan

KNOXVILLE — Farragut Middle School’s junior varsity football team won another Middle-School Aged Conference Championship late last week.

The MAC was conceived in 2019 in an effort to bring middle school football to Knox County, and the Admirals won the inaugural title last season by beating Halls in Alcoa.

Farragut claimed its second consecutive title when it edged rival Bearden 8-6 at Bearden High School’s Bill Young Field Thursday evening, Oct. 23.

In the JV games in the MAC, games are divided into 20-minute halves with a running clock. The second-seeded Admirals, who finish the season with a 7-2 record, started things in dramatic fashion when they successfully executed an onside kick on the opening kickoff.

Farragut, which was playing against the top-seeded and previously unbeaten Bulldogs, closed the opening half with a flourish.

The Admirals scored their lone touchdown of the contest when quarterback Gage Kirby connected with Colin Crider on a 21-yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining before halftime. Farragut kicked the two-point conversion to move ahead 8-0, and the successful kick would prove to be the difference in the contest.

The Bulldogs (8-1) pulled to within 8-6 with seven minutes remaining in the game when quarterback Connor Hall hit Jack Brillhart on a 15-yard scoring strike with 7 minutes left in the game. Bearden’s conversion, however failed.

Farragut first-year head coach Dustin Bolen has been coaching in Farragut youth football for several seasons.

“It feels great to win and I’m happy for these kids. They’ve worked really hard,” Bolen said. “I coached our sixth-grade team last year and I’ve known these kids and coached these kids for several years.

“We’ve had 12 new kids this year, but I’ve had several of these kids for five or six years,” he added.

For Bearden head coach Daniel Henry, “It was a tough night for us tonight. I was an assistant with this team last year and we had a lot of the same kids back, and we only won two games last year.”

However, “We went from going 2-5 last year to going 8-1 this year and I’m excited for these kids moving forward,” he added.