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Kick Off rehearsal tune-up for ’06 openers
New back emerges for Webb, Irish lineman singled out, CAK near ‘where we’d like to be’

Webb School was the most dominant, Knoxville Catholic defeated a Class 4A powerhouse and Christian Academy of Knoxville’s head coach said he is generally pleased “where we are right now.”

Those were nutshell highlights from each team’s 12 minutes of action during the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic Kick Off Classic Aug. 11 in Neyland Stadium.

A 64-yard touchdown pass from Webb quarterback Blake Beeler to Bo Johnson — a roll out pass Johnson took about 50 yards down the sidelines less than two minutes into the quarter — broke the ice quickly in a 14-0 Spartan victory versus Halls.

Johnson also added a 30-yard run on a 58-yard TD drive capped by Derek Boyce’s 10-yard scoring run with 5:48 to play. Beeler ran in the two-point conversion.

“Bo Johnson did a great job, he runs very well, and Blake got ’em the ball,” Webb head coach Dave Meske said. “Our offensive guards are the key to our offense and they did a great job as far as letting us get to the corners.

“Defensively, I thought Chad Manning did a good job,” Meske added. “A-J Kirby[-Jones] and Matt Campbell are constantly good football players.”

Defensive highlights included a fumble recovery from Kirby-Jones, an interception from Boyce and a sack from Tom Ergen.

Overall, “I’m very happy where we’re at,” Meske said. “Of course, you can get satisfied in a hurry, and we don’t want to do that. We’re a young football team with not a lot of experience but our kids have reacted real well to the intensity of practice and they’re getting better every day.”

As expected, Catholic standout Harrison Smith was all over the place making big plays as the Irish knocked off perennial Class 4A power Central 7-0.

Though only an exhibition game, “It’s always nice, they’ve got a great program. Coach [Joel] Helton does a fantastic job,” Irish head coach Mark Pemberton said. “We played pretty good defense, I thought. ...”

After a terrible first series ending with a fumble forced on a sack and Central recovery at the KCHS 13, it was defensive back Smith who bailed out the Irish with an interception near the goal line.

Then it was Smith on the receiving end of a bomb down the right sideline from quarterback Eric Lindsey that Smith hauled in at the Central 20 and took to the end zone for a 57-yard TD pass with 3:42 left. Chris Seneker added the extra point.

“Eric Lindsey’s a heck of an athlete, we think he’s going to have two good years for us. I thought our offensive line did a good job protection-wise,” Pemberton said.

And among those offensive lineman, Pemberton pointed to 6-foot-6, 250-pound senior tackle T. J. Franklin. “He’s a man-child out there. Started as a freshman. He’s a heck of a football player, and I think he’s going to go on and play Division One somewhere.”

Smith killed off the Bobcats’ last drive with a second interception, this one at the KCHS 25 with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Pemberton said his Irish “struggled” in scrimmages versus Halls (Aug. 8) and West (Aug. 10). “We’ve been laying the ball on the ground a little too much. We’ve had a little trouble with the quarterback-center exchange.”

Christian Academy got a quick 9-yard touchdown run from sophomore Keenan Kolinski following a fumble recovery to beat King’s Academy 6-0.

“We’ve had a pretty good summer and early fall’s been good to us, so we’re pretty much where we’d like to be,” Young said. “We’re still trying to create some depth at different positions. ... Our attitude is great. ...”

Young said he’s quite pleased with both of his quarterbacks, senior Chris Cates and sophomore Michael Fromke, adding the starting job is still open following the Kick Off Classic.

“We think both of ‘em can play, so we’re not worried about either one of ‘’em. We’ll probably be playing both of ‘em.” The Warriors’ scoring drive included a 14-yard run from Cates.

Young said sophomore offensive lineman Andrew Frazier “has really come on strong. He’s probably the biggest surprise as far as somebody that’s stepped up that can help us a lot right now.”

Young said Kolinski “is going to be a big-time player” who is versatile enough to be a runningback, receiver and linebacker..


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