Charlotte Christian’s Farrell shines in new role against rival Country Day
Charlotte Christian senior William Farrell thought he was going to be a linebacker this season, but as practice got going, Knights coach Jason Estep said he felt his team needed help in the back of the defense.
So Estep moved Farrell, whom he believes is one of his most versatile players, to safety four weeks ago. During Friday’s 21-13 win over Charlotte Country Day, Farrell produced two memorable plays.
He made a diving interception to stop a Country Day drive, and knocked away what looked like a sure Bucs touchdown in the end zone.
The second play was more impressive.
Country Day quarterback Russell Tabor, The Observer’s preseason private school player of the year, threw a pretty pass to the left corner of the end zone to what looked like an open teammate.
But Farrell kept running, kept closing ground, as the ball neared the Country Day receiver. Farrell arrived as the ball did, knocking it away just in time.
“Will’s been a really good football player for us,” Estep said. “He’s a multi-sport athlete and a month ago, he was starting at outside linebacker. We made a change, and it’s been good for us. Tonight, he just made an unbelievable play. I thought Tabor threw a good ball and the guy ran an unbelievable route, and at the last second, our guy made the play.”
Farrell, 18, said he feels more comfortable playing in the back of the Knights’ defense. He said he can play more freely there. He said he feels he’s better in coverage, too.
He definitely was Friday, especially on the touchdown breakup.
“The pass rush was quick,” he said, “and the ball got out quick and I had to make a play on it. I was thinking, ‘Just punch it out! Punch it out! I can’t let him score!’ ”
Farrell also plays baseball at Charlotte Christian and in the past two years, he has won one baseball and two football state championships.
Now, as a senior, he wants two more. He knows Friday’s win was a nice first step.
“Momentum is huge here,” he said, “especially with a five-game (regular) season, and we’re ready for our next game now. Man, I missed this, missed playing, and it’s great to get back on the field.”
The concession stands ● were closed and only parents of seniors could watch the games live at
Charlotte Christian and Providence Day, but having high school football back was nice.
The game seemed familiar, sounded familiar, and seeing the smiles on the players’ faces before the game told you all you needed to know if you wondered how much they missed it.
The teams at Char
lotte Christian did not shake hands after the game, instead hustling to the team bus or the locker room. That looked a little different.
It was downright cold
for a season opener with temperatures in the 50s. But the teams seemed pretty sharp for Week 1. Kudos to the coaches for having them ready.
FRIDAY’S #BIG5 TOP PERFORMERS
Sydney McCorkle: The sophomore made state history when she kicked the extra point after the Chargers’ touchdown late in the third quarter of Friday’s 48-0 win over Charlotte Latin.
She became the first female ever to score a point in a NCISAA private school football game.
Thomas Flynn: The 6-4, 200-pound senior caught three scoring tosses — two from Jake Helfrich and one from Grantt Logan, a transfer from Thomas Jefferson Academy in Rutherford County.
Day’s Russell Tabor:
The Observer’s private school preseason player of the year completed 16of-38 passes for 151 yards in a 21-13 loss at Charlotte Christian. He ran 18 times for 91 yards and two scores.
Matthew Tuomala: 7for-10 passing for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He ran 11 times for 30 yards.
Wade Gullickson: 13 tackles, including one for a loss, in the Country Day win.