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Catholic bounces back to tie BHS; 4A power to visit

Head coach Mark Pemberton of Knoxville Catholic High School’s football team had his team’s first real game night simulation against Bearden at the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic High School Kick-Off Classic hosted at Farragut High School Friday, Aug. 17.

It’s a chance for allcoaches and teams to shake off the pre-season jitters and step in front of a big crowd to synthesize a Friday night real-game situation by playing a 12 minute quarter with the first offense starting on its own 30 yard line.

It also gives them a chance to throw in some inexperienced players or underclassmen. Pemberton has a lot of experience on his defensive front — a front tested early — in what turned out to be a 7-7 final score versus the Bulldogs.

The first string defense, with nine returning starters, allowed a 12-play, 70-yard scoring drive, as Bearden’s quarterback Dawson Halliday (9) scored a touchdown on a four yard bootleg to the end zone, raising the Bulldogs to a 7-0 lead after the extra point.

The Irish offense, quarterbacked by senior Eric Lindsey (17), answered back with a quick six play running attack ending with a touchdown led by Jacob Giles (25) with 30 yards rushing from four of the snaps.

The drive ended with his touchdown rum from the 1-yard line with 3:49 left on the clock, tying the game 7-7 after a Ricardo Martinez extra point.

The defense came back out and stopped the Bulldogs

On the fifth play of the BHS drive on a key third-down conversion for the Bulldogs, KCHS senior linebacker Anthony Mubarak (37) sacked Halliday resulting in an 8-yard loss. The Bulldogs at fourth and long decided to punt with 1:02 left.

Mubarak felt the rest of the defense deserved credit. “There really isn’t one particular player, we all work hard together and play together as a team to make plays,” Mubarak said.

With only a minute to go, Lindsey hurried to get as many snaps off as possible. The high morale of the team from the defensive stop fueled the ending drive, resulting in 40 yards in four plays capped by a 3-yard pass to Giles, who ran another 30 yards after the catch as time concluded.

Even with the second string offensive line in-front of Lindsey, the senior said “there is no drop off from our first string to second string linemen. If the first string needs a break, then we have the depth to give them one and play just as well.”

Pemberton praised BHS as a “good offensive football team. They will do well.”

The Irish host Class 4A powerhouse Morristown West at 7:30 p.m., Friday Aug 24, in Blaine Stadium.


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