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Top-ranked Irish crush Wartburg 59-0


It was a slow start for Knoxville Catholic’s Harrison Smith, but it didn’t take long for the star to come out and shine. After dropping a sure touchdown pass on Catholic’s first possession, Smith was determined to put that behind him quickly. The 6-foot-3, 210 pound running back/defensive back scored four times to lead the state’s No. 1-ranked Class 3A Irish past winless Wartburg 59-0 Friday, Sept. 22, at KCHS’s Blaine Stadium.

Smith had 137 yards on seven carries and two rushing touchdowns along with a touchdown reception and a kick return to keep the Irish unbeaten at 5-0.

On Wartburg’s first offensive play of the game, Smith blew up the Bulldog’s Anthony Rogers on a sweep play causing a fumble and essentially turning the game around for the Irish.

“It felt pretty good,” Smith commented on the hit.

Two plays later, junior quarterback Eric Lindsey scrambled 31 yards and Smith took a handoff 21 yards for Catholic’s first score of the game with 9:47 left in the first.

Irish fullback Brian Hartmann made it 14-0 on Catholic’s next drive with a 16-yard run, then scored from 13 yards out to give Catholic the 20-0 lead with 9:13 remaining.

“Our running game is getting a little better as we go,” KCHS head coach Mark Pemberton said. “Eric Lindsey is getting a little more comfortable in the huddle and line of scrimmage with our offense, he is doing a great job. He scrambled a couple of times tonight and had big plays so I think he’s coming around.”

Smith raced 44 yards on the first play of another drive, dodging and hurdling Wartburg defenders all the way for the score.

Senior Joey Natour tackled Wartburg’s Rogers in the end zone for a safety making it 29-0 with 5:07 left in the half.

Smith then took the free-kick 54-yards for the score, making it 36-0. Andrew Hamil added a 25-yard field goal late in the half.

On Wartburg’s first play of the second half, Dustin Tait recovered a fumble and Catholic took advantage. Smith hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Lindsey.

Backup quarterback Michael Robbins scored on a 18-yard TD run and third-team quarterback Tyler Williamson capped off the Irish scoring with a 2-yard run late.

 

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