By Ken Lay
The 2021 high school football season is three weeks old and Farragut High School is still in search of its first victory.
But longtime Admirals head coach isn’t discouraged.
“These kids continue to slowly get better,” Courtney said after Farragut dropped its Region 2-6A opener to Maryville 42-14 Friday night at Bill Clabo Field. “They continue to work hard. It doesn’t look good on the scoreboard and it doesn’t look good in the win column.
“But I think good things are about to get better for this football team.”
Despite the slow start to the campaign, Farragut continues to pack the house. The Admirals, who lost to West at home on Aug. 27, had a spirited crowd Friday against Blount County’s Rebels. The audience was also boisterous against West, the No. 1 team in Class 5A. Farragut faithful also traveled in droves to the Midstate in Week 1.
The Admirals (0-3 overall, 0-1 in Region 2-6A) host Oak Ridge, the 2020 Class 5A state runner-up last season in Week 4 and Courtney expects the stands to be jammed with fans again.
“I told the kids that if they keep playing the way they’re playing, the way they played tonight, then people will still come and watch them play,” Courtney said.
“These kids have given their effort and they’ve laid it all on the line and I can’t ask any more than that from them.”
Farragut spotted Maryville a 28-0 lead after the Rebels’ Noah Vaughn scored on a long 80-yard scamper on the visitors’ first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. But the Admirals would respond by engineering a nine-play drive that covered 80 yards and consumed nearly three-and-a-half minutes.
Senior quarterback Dawson Moore capped the long drive when he connected with sophomore wide receiver Landis Davila on a 10-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-6 with 8:08 remaining in the frame. Moore had another solid game as he was 16-for-21 for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
Davila finished the night with five catches for 77 yards and scored both of the Admirals’ touchdowns.
But in the end, the Rebels (3-0, 1-0) just had too much firepower. Maryville quarterback Carson Jones threw two touchdown passes to senior and Liberty University commitment Markel Fortenberry and added a scoring run for the Rebels. D.J. Burks and Gage LaDue also had scoring runs for Maryville, the No. 2 team in Class 6A. The Rebels travel to Alcoa for their annual showdown with Alcoa this week.