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Flood gates open early at KCHS Irish go south and crush Sequoyah 51-6

MADISONVILLE — When it rains it pours and Knoxville Catholic High School opened the flood gates early in its 51-6 win at Sequoyah High School Friday, Aug. 25.

The luck of the Irish began on the first play of the game when senior Harrison Smith intercepted a Sequoyah pass, and after a 7-yard run by Michael Browder, Smith scored on a 40-yard scamper of his own to give Catholic (2-0) its first score with 10:51 left in the first.

After a Michael Robbins interception, the Irish got on the board again with 6:08 left in the first after Smith, who finished the game with 129 yards on five first-half carries, took a handoff 51 yards for the score to increase the lead 14-0 after Chris Seneker’s extra-point.

With Smith leading the defensive secondary, Catholic has been pleased thus far with the way Robbins (two interceptions this season) has complimented Smith at the other safety position.

“He is doing a really good job for us,” Irish coach Mark Pemberton said of his junior safety. “We figured whoever the other safety was might have a chance to have a big year because we thought people were going to throw away from Harrison.”

Irish senior lineman T.J. Franklin is equally as pleased with the way Robbins is playing in the secondary.

“He is just building every game, getting better and playing smarter,” Franklin said. “He is one year older now and in the off-season he hit the weights so he is bigger and faster. He is a good player.”

On Catholic’s next possession, Browder got into the scoring mix with a 30-yard run.

The Irish ground game continued to impress as Matt Pfleger scored from 14 yards out on the ensuing possession, giving Catholic the 28-0 advantage with 10:13 left in the first half.

After a Sequoyah fumble, recovered by Irish linebacker Dustin Tait on the Chief 5-yard line, senior fullback Brian Hartmann plunged up the middle for the score.

Catholic was finally stopped on its next drive, but after a Luke Smith punt, Sequoyah was pinned on its own 3-yard line, resulting in a safety from an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone three plays later.

A Smith 5-yard touchdown run with 53 seconds remaining in the half gave Catholic the 44-0 lead heading into the break, thus ending the night for the majority of Irish starters.

Catholic ended the game with 411 yards on the ground.

“I think we did really good,” Hartmann said. “It was fun to get out here and let everyone else get some reps in too.”

The only other Catholic points were scored on a Jarrod Johnson 35-yard touchdown run with 7:13 remaining in the third quarter, ending the scoring.

Sequoyah’s lone score came on an 81-yard run by Caleb Bowers on the Chiefs’ first possession of the second half.

“That was a good win. ... Now we get into the meat of the schedule starting next week with (Austin East),” Pemberton said.

Franklin said, “We are playing really good but we will get a test next week. Austin-East is far greater than the two teams we played so far, but I believe we are doing well right now and we will be able to measure up real well next week.”


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