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Gibbs no match for No.2 Irish


The one-two punch of Harrison Smith and Brian Hartmann proved to be too much for Gibbs to handle.

The state’s No. 2-ranked Knoxville Catholic Fighting Irish got off to a fast start and three touchdowns each from Smith and Hartmann ignited a 63-17 rout of Gibbs in the first round of the 3-A playoffs Friday, Nov. 3, at Catholic’s Blaine Stadium.


“We played good,” Smith said. “We just wanted to come out and get an early jump on them.”

The Irish (11-0) did just that with three first quarter scoring drives.

Scoring 16 touchdowns this season, Hartmann got the scoring started with a 1-yard TD run with 8:43 left in the first quarter.

A 35-yard touchdown pass from Eric Lindsey to Smith and a Hartmann 35-yard scoring run gave Catholic a 21-0 lead with 4:16 left in the first quarter. Hartmann found the end zone one more time with a 20-yard scamper at the 10:39 mark in the second quarter.

Lindsey hooked up with Smith once again, this time for a 33-yard touchdown strike to put Catholic up 35-0. The final score of the half came when Smith, who leads the team with 26 touchdowns, returned a punt for a 42-yard score, increasing the lead to 42-0.

The defense proved its toughness by holding Gibbs to minus-23 yards of total offense and no first downs in the first half.

“We had so much pressure, everybody just broke to the line,” Hartmann said.

With Michael Robbins coming into the game at quarterback in the third quarter, it didn’t take long for him to pick up where Lindsey left off. The junior found Ryan Walden for a 76-yard score to make the score 49-3.

Senior Michael Browder ran in a 12-yard score in the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 56-3 lead.

Catholic rounded out the scoring with a Jarrod Johnson 48-yard kickoff return from an onside kick.

The Irish host Austin-East at 7 p.m., Friday. The Roadrunners (7-4), losers to KCHS earlier this season, won at Seymour 38-0 last week.

 

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