Going into last week’s game, Farragut High School football head coach Eddie Courtney knew his team had to get off to a fast start.
“We knew that we had to come out and set the tone,” Courtney said after the Admirals routed Region 1-6A rival Hardin Valley Academy 42-7 Friday night, Oct. 23, at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field. “That team is well-coached and they’re extremely physical.
“You have to be able to match their physicality,” he added.
The Admirals (6-3 overall, 4-1 in the region) avenged last year’s one-sided loss to the Hawks on a rainy night at HVA, and football players have long memories.
However, “Last year it was tough and it was raining over there, but we didn’t even talk about that,” said Courtney, in his 25th season as FHS head coach. “We just talked about executing and getting better.”
But FHS wide receiver Matt White, a senior, wanted to make sure there wasn’t a repeat performance against the Hawks (1-8, 1-4).
“Bearden and HVA are our big rivals, and even though they’ve struggled you have to play hard against them,” said White, who had four receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. “You have to play hard because these games are so emotional.”
The Admirals wasted little time taking control of the game. Farragut scored on all five of its possessions in the first half and opened a 35-0 lead by halftime.
In the opening quarter, FHS quarterback Dawson Moore threw a pair of long touchdown passes. The first was a 54-yarder to White.
Moore then found Trace Corum on a scoring strike from 67 yards out.
Like his coach, Moore said the fast start was a necessity against Hardin Valley.
“This was still a regional game and you have to play hard,” said Moore, who completed 11 of his 13 pass attempts and amassed 218 yards while throwing three touchdown passes and rushing for 53 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
“You have to play hard in this game. You have to play them like you play Maryville or West or any other big team,” he added. “You have to do that so you can get some younger players in the game.”
The Admirals picked up where they left off in the second quarter, as Eli Purcell and Moore had short touchdown runs and Hank DeVault was on the receiving end of Moore’s final touchdown pass of the contest, a 17-yard strike that made it 35-0 at halftime and set the mercy rule in motion.
The Hawks scored on a 4-yard run by Ryan Nichol with 4:11 left in the third stanza. Nichol finished the game with 37 yards and a TD on eight carries.
Farragut’s Dion Williams closed out the scoring with a 1-yard plunge with 8:32 to play.
Defensively, the Admirals had three interceptions, as Mason Collins, Griffin Mashburn and Logan Foody all picked off HVA passes.
For Hawks’ head coach Mike Potter, it was another rough night.
“There’s really not a lot to say,” he said. “Farragut came out and they were firing on all cylinders.
“They’re a solid ball club and they really took it to us.”