CLEVELAND — From snakebitten to clutch, with some recent sweet revenge included, is the new status of Farragut High School football’s late-season/postseason run.
Earning a playoff berth on the game’s final play versus Bearden, then gambling and winning on the game’s final play on the road at Science Hill, Farragut sought revenge against the team that walked off FHS’s Bill Clabo Field victorious on the game’s final play four weeks earlier (Bradley Central).
The rematch was in round two of the Class 6A playoffs.
This game against the No. 2 seeded Bears, at BCHS Friday night, Nov. 12, saw Farragut’s offense outgain Bradley 404-versus-307 (and run 64 plays versus the Bears’ 42) thanks in large part to an improved defense versus four weeks ago, plus the dynamics of senior quarterback Dawson Moore, who missed the entire second half of the regular season meeting.
“It just seems like the last half of the season he’s just turned his game up from the standpoint of just being physical as a runner and hanging in the pocket and making the accurate passes,” Admirals skipper Eddie Courtney said about Moore helping FHS get revenge with a 27-24 victory.
However, “We didn’t really talk about (revenge); what we talked about was moving on in the playoffs,” Courtney added.
“These last three games our kids have had to play four quarters. They know how to finish now.”
Passing for 274 yards (17-of-28) and two touchdowns with no interceptions, while rushing 23 times for 115 yards (a 3-yard scoring run to put the Ads ahead for good in the third quarter), Moore and Company used a time-killing 6:30 march to end the game by reaching the Bears’ red zone.
Clinging to the 27-24 lead, Farragut ran out the clock to seal victory after a fourth-down Moore pass to Landis Davila for a first down.
“He’s certainly leading our football team right now,” Courtney said of Moore.
Davila (five catches, 108 yards that included a –yard score joined senior receiver Trace Corum, whose single-season program receiving record (70) was improved with six catches for 124 yards, which included a 42-yard TD catch.
“They really picked it up on both sides of the formation,” Moore said of Corum and Davila.
The Ads defense did a much better job of slowing down Bears running back Jackson Wilson and quarterback Aiden McClary — despite giving up three big scoring plays, This was most evident early in the fourth quarter, as Bradley marched into the FHS red zone down 27-21.
Courtney spoke about “getting a really good push on both sides of the ball” as being a key.
“… In the trenches we were a little more physical in the second half,” he added.
But led by sophomore linebacker Jack Alley’s 12 tackles (six solo), Farragut dug in and stopped the host team, giving up only a field goal and keeping the lead.
Moore and Company did the rest.
Other top defenders in Navy blue and silver were senior linebacker Brice Fontenot (10 total stops, five sole including a sack), Jay Smiley with 10 (three solo) and Sam Moses seven (five solo).
With junior kicker Reese Keeney out of the line-up, senior Simeon Sharp stepped in flawlessly and booted a pair of 25-yard field goals along with going three-of-three on extra points. He also filled in for Keeney punting-wise.
Advancing to the 6A state quarterfinals, the Admirals (6-6) travel to No. 2-state-ranked and unbeaten Maryville (12-0), with the opening kickoff at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19. Bradley’s season ends at 9-3.