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No. 1 Irish end regular season 10-0

For the third time in the last four years, the Knoxville Catholic Fighting Irish finish the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record.

After beating Scott County 42-6 Friday, Oct. 27, at KCHS’s Blaine Stadium, the Irish have a reason to celebrate.

“Our kids put in a lot of hours and have worked extremely hard to get to this point,” Irish head coach Mark Pemberton said. “I think they believe they can win every ballgame and they proved that in the regular season. We just need to be able to get over that hump during the next season through the playoffs.”

After Scott’s opening drive was capped by a Josh Jeffers 2-yard touchdown run, the Irish found themselves trailing 6-0 with 6:12 remaining in the first quarter.

“We made some coverage adjustments,” Pemberton said. “We were sitting in a Cover-Two on that first drive and we talked about it going in the ballgame. We were going to do that until they hurt us and obviously they hurt us on the first drive with some throws. So we checked our coverage into a three deep instead of a two deep and it helped us bring up some of our ends where we can bring them off the edge to rush the quarterback a little bit.”

While the defense needed a little adjusting, the offense ran smooth as the Irish scored on its first four possessions.

A 15-yard touchdown run by Harrison Smith, who finished the night with 112 yards on the ground, got the offense rolling with 1:44 left in the first quarter. Brian Hartmann added to the lead with a 12-yard score with 9:22 left in the second quarter to give Catholic a 14-6 lead. Three minutes later it was Hartmann again with a 4-yard touchdown run to give the Irish a 21-6 lead.

Junior quarterback Eric Lindsey found room on a play-action keeper and scored from 45 yards to give the Irish the 28-6 lead with 2:59 left in the half.

Scott made a valiant attempt to record a score before halftime, but Smith intercepted the pass at the Irish goal line to prevent the deed with 2:00 left.

After an unsuccessful bubble screen to Smith on the first play from scrimmage, the Irish ran out the clock and took the 28-6 lead into halftime.

Then the storms rolled in and the rain picked up when the teams took the field in the second half.

Lindsey confused the defense once again with a keeper and scored from 39 yards to increase the lead 35-6 with 9:24 left in the third.

A few minutes later lightning was spotted and the game was delayed.

“It was a pretty good delay but I think we adjusted to it pretty good,” Pemberton said. “We took a little extra time when the teams came out for warm-ups, we tried to get them back loose again because you always worry about injuries. But I think we got of it unscathed.”

When play resumed, senior Michael Browder scored on a 15-yard run to give the Irish the 42-6 lead late in the third.


Lineman Joey Natour, who broke his arm in last week’s 28-7 win over Kingston, will most likely be sidelined for the rest of the season.

However, the Catholic senior feels confident that he will step on the field again this season.

“I’m supposed to be out six to eight weeks,” Natour said, “But if we make it to the state championship game, I am playing.”


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