Strong Ads defensive first half blurred by controversial 15-yard penalties; two long TD runs secure 27-3 MHS win
MARYVILLE — If you were to ask some — maybe more than some — Farragut High School football fans who were at Maryville’s Jim Renfro Field last Friday evening about their team’s first half performance, they may tell you the Admirals’ defense held the powerful Maryville Red Rebels offense out of the end zone.
The reason is four critical 15-yard penalties they considered bad calls against the Navy blue and gray, which fueled the defending state champs’ two first-half touchdown drives, gave MHS a 14-3 lead at the break.
Though the officials were verbally scorched by dozens of Farragut fans as the first half ended, their anger was quelled somewhat in the second half — thanks to TD runs of 66 and 46 yards by MHS star running back Parker McGill, and a critical Admirals fumble killing a promising early second-half drive.
After an emotional first half, Maryville won 27-3 Sept. 25.
“They were fired up; we were playing hard and physical,” FHS interim head coach Geoff Courtney said about his team’s first half performance.
Two pass interference calls plus a roughing-the-punter infraction on a punt, which some FHS coaches contended obviously was touched following a low snap, added up to 42 yards in penalties helping the home team grab an early 7-0 lead.
With a effective Farragut ground game in the first half led by a trio of backs, including junior Schumann Xie, the Admirals moved the ball deep into Maryville territory late in the first half. FHS kicker Reese Keeney nailed a 37-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
“I feel like our 0-line was doing good enough, and our running backs out there were running as hard as they could,” Carter Schuermann, Admirals senior tackle, said.
Yet another pass interference call bailed Maryville out of a long-yardage situation. An 11-yard TD pass with just nine seconds left in the half made it 14-3.
“We knew we had to come in here and play physical and execute — we didn’t do the second part of that as well as we would have liked,” FHS interim head coach Geoff Courtney said. “I thought at times we played physical. I thought our defense make improvement from last week. The scoreboard doesn’t show it with 27 points, but our offense put them in a situation to score some quick touchdowns by turning the ball over on a short field.
“That’s on us — we’ve got to get that corrected,” he added.