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After a little rain, Irish pour it on Panthers in scrimmage
Defenses also shine for CAK, Admirals

Mark Pemberton said defense was Knoxville Catholic’s strength entering the 2007 high school football season.

After a scrimmage against Powell Friday, Aug. 3, in KCHS’s Blaine Stadium, few Panthers could argue with the Irish skipper’s assessment.

After Powell converted a field goal early, Catholic started rolling and dominated play.

Meanwhile, Farragut and Christian Academy of Knoxville also enjoyed defensive success in scrimmages last week. More on that later in this story.


A Zach Vann 22-yard run ended in a lost fumble, but the Irish first-string began a four-series defense stretch where it allowed just one Panther first down.

Meanwhile, KCHS cranked up the offense. A 39-yard Matt Pfleger run to the PHS 1 was converted into six points on Dorian Cozart’s one-yard TD.

On Catholic’s next possession, a 25-yard run from junior Eric McWhorter set up a nine-yard scoring scamper from senior Jacob Giles, who also scored on a 20-yard TD run later in the scrimmage.

McWhorter’s apparent 15-yard scoring run was nullified by a holding penalty.

Sophomore backup quarterback Tyler Williamson fired a 15-yard pass completion to senior Conor Irwin, and later scampered for 14 yards on a fourth-down-and-four option keeper.

Note: Thirteen KCHS freshmen players who, because of jersey number duplication with a varsity player, were not included in next week’s farragutpress The Program 2007 football preview. There are: quarterback Ryan Ridgley, linebacker Paul Proctor, quarterback Chase Fox, runningback Michael Bonfini, linebacker Alex Gillespie, wide receiver Bradley Cheek, defensive back Gene Texidor, wide receiver Taylor Kennedy, quarterback Jesse Smith, defensive back Lee Martin, offensive lineman David Coulter, and tight-ends Jake Stiles and Daniel Degennaro.


Facing South-Doyle Friday at SDHS in a rain-shortened scrimmage scheduled as a four-way (Alcoa and Morristown West), FHS head coach Eddie Courtney praised his defense.

“I thought our defense really stepped it up, probably their best effort all week,” Courtney said. “I thought Micah [Devan, linebacker] did and Jeff Jamison [defensive end] did, I thought they really stepped it up. And Zach Allen at safety made some plays.

“Our passing game was certainly good. ... We got a lot of kids looked at in an hour.”


Though the Warriors totally dominated during a Thursday, Aug. 2, scrimmage versus St. Benedict at CAK, head coach Rusty Bradley still sees some rough edges.

“I was pleased, we scored six times and they never scored, but I kinda compare it to a basketball player who scores a lot of points but he still didn’t shoot really well,” Bradley said. “It was a good start, but there’s some little things I think we need to correct.”

The positives? “I like that we had no injuries, and I thought we tackled well,” Bradley said. “I thought we played well on defense. We had a lot of big plays on offense. Joseph Bennett [fullback] scored three times.”

Concerns? “There’s a few things in the passing game we need to get wrinkled out with some spacing issues,” Bradley said. “First time going against a live pass rush you run into some things like that.”

Individually, “I thought Keenan [Kolinsky] ran the ball hard, I thought Chris [Cates] threw well,” Bradley said about his starting tailback and quarterback.

“Defensively, Joseph made a lot of plays, Bo Sanford had an interception, and Steven Fortner made some plays for us defensively.”


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