HARDIN VALLEY — Luke Johnson got a chance to start for the Farragut High School football team Friday night, Oct. 1, in its Region 2-6A game against rival Hardin Valley Academy.
He made the most of it.
Johnson, the Admirals’ junior quarterback, answered the call from FHS head coach Eddie Courtney and had a big game in Farragut’s 49-3 victory that spoiled Homecoming Night for the Hawks — while Ads’ starting quarterback, senior Dawson Moore, was nursing an injury.
“This was his first start, and he stepped up and played really well,” Courtney said of Johnson. “We all know about Luke. He loves football and he studies the game. Dawson has really helped him out and they’re good friends.”
Johnson finished the contest against HVA (0-6 overall, 0-3 in Region 2-6A) with three passing touchdowns. He went 18-for-24 with 190 yards and added a 9-yard scoring run as the Admirals (3-4, 1-2) notched their first league win of the 2021 season. It’s also the Admirals’ first-ever win at HVA.
Johnson had a big night, but he didn’t take much credit.
“This was my first start and I’m just thankful to all my teammates for making me look good,” Johnson said. “Dawson and I are really close, and he’s my best friend on the team.”
While Friday was Johnson’s night, Courtney said he expects Moore to be back when the Admirals return to action Oct. 15 for a key regional showdown against Bradley Central at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field.
“Next is our bye week,” Courtney said. “And we’re hoping Dawson will be back in our next game in two weeks.”
With Moore on the sideline, Farragut set the tone early, engineering a long drive that was capped when Johnson connected with Noah Gunter on a short 6-yard touchdown pass with 7 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
The Hawks pulled to within 7-3 late in the frame when John Aragon kicked a 30-yard field goal.
HVA head coach Mike Potter said the Hawks played well in the opening stanza, but noted they pretty much self-destructed thereafter.
“I thought we played pretty well in the first quarter,” he said. “But after that, we couldn’t get lined up right, we missed tackles, we missed blocks and we dropped balls.
“We did all the things that you can’t do if you expect to win a ballgame,” he added. “But we just have to go back to work and try to win a ballgame. We’ve got a tough one next, against (Jefferson) County. They’re a much-improved football team — and the one thing we can’t do, we can’t quit.”
After Aragon’s first-quarter field goal, it was all Farragut.
The junior connected with Chance Vann from 15 yards out midway into the second frame. Johnson also threw a 26-yard scoring strike to Zach Keasling just before halftime to make it 28-3.
In the third quarter, Elijah Gibbs had an 8-yard touchdown run to make it 35-3 at the 3:01 mark.
Andrew Celeste had a 2-yard TD plunge in the fourth quarter. Jerome Brekken returned a blocked punt 30 yards to score with 4:04 left in the game.