HENDERSONVILLE — For the first 45-plus minutes against Class 5A power Hendersonville Beech, Farragut played turnover free offensively, while the Ads’ defense held the homestanding Buccaneers to just one score.
What’s more, the Admirals’ offense was on the march late, near midfield with less than three minutes to play and tied 7-7, when their first turnover turned the game.
A pass reception fumble around the FHS 45 was scooped up by Buccaneer Tyler Nix, who raced 45 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with just 2:24 left.
Farragut re-grouped and drove to the FHS 46 with 1:30 to play, but an interception and 30-yard TD run from running back Patrick Hill sealed the deal, 20-7, in both teams’ season opener Friday, Aug. 20.
“We played, at times, well enough defensively, but we gave up third downs in the first half,” FHS head coach Eddie Courtney said, which was especially evident on Beech’s touchdown march to begin the game — allowing three Bucs third-down chances to become first downs.
He also pointed to “missed tackles and penalties” plaguing his Admirals, but added, “These are all things we can control and get better on.”
On the good side for FHS was two interceptions by John Duncan, junior defensive back, both killing Bucs scoring drives. Junior linebacker Jay Smiley recovered a Beech fumble.
Corey Walker, senior defensive tackle, had a pair of minus-5 hits, while sophomore defensive lineman Ulysses Hull had three stops for 0 or minus yardage. Junior linemen Brice Fontenot and Howie Sentell joined senior defensive end Will Changas to also record minus-yards stops. Defensive back Sam Moses, a senior, recorded a sack and deflected a pass.
Offensively, senior quarterback Dawson Moore’s favorite target was fellow senior Trace Corum, especially on sideline routes. Corum’s nine catches included those for 23, 13 and 11 yards — but the highlight was his 5-yard TD grab over the middle, tying the game with 19 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Sophomore Ben Reed added one catch over the middle for 27 yards, while junior Hudson Kraemer had three catches, one for 13 yards. Senior receiver Zach Keasling caught one ball for 21 yards.
While Moore ran several option keepers, the Ads’ top rushing effort was 21 yards by senior running back Schumann Xie.
Senior kicker/punter Reese Keeney added the extra-point, while also booting a 52-yard punt.