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Irish rebound, dominate Rhea Co.

EVANSVILLE — It seems that all the Fighting Irish of Knoxville Catholic needed was a full four quarters.

As first reported on Farragut First Edition ( Aug. 21, the Irish rebounded in grand fashion from a disappointing performance at the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic Kick-Off Classic a week ago.

Catholic dominated the Rhea County Golden Eagles 28-6 at RCHS Friday night, Aug. 21.

“Oh, I tell you, it’s a great feeling,” new KCHS head coach Scott Meadows said. “Everything kind of came together tonight.”

Meadows is known for his spread-style passing offense, but a quick glance at the stat sheet might have you thinking it was 2008 again. The Irish rushed 37 times for 310 yards and went 6-of-12 passing for 136 yards.

“In two years I never used a tight end until tonight,” said Meadows, adding, “Whenever you have someone like Dorian [senior running back Dorian Cozart] back there, you are going to have to respect the run.”

All Cozart did was rush for a career high 211 yards on 19 carries including three touchdowns.

His third TD came with 9:32 left in the fourth quarter. On the first play of the drive Cozart slashed up the middle before breaking free on a 76-yard backbreaking blow.

“The game plan was to come in and pound it at them and I think we were successful,” Cozart said. “I did get some hard yards tonight, but a lot of the yards were because of some great blocks by the O-line.”

Irish junior Taylor Kennedy added 53 yards rushing and senior Andrew Kropilak had 43 yards.

Senior Zak Tait voiced his displeasure to his teammates after the sloppy play inside Neyland Stadium and challenged them to work harder during practice this week. “We all came out to practice on Monday knowing what we had to do,” the 6-foot-4, 300-pound senior lineman said. “Coach Meadows pushed us and we got the job done.”

Meanwhile, the Catholic defense remained its stingy old self.

The Golden Eagles stunned the Irish on its first drive going 81-yards in four plays, but ran out of tricks and went three-and-out on three of its next four possessions.

Catholic has two weeks to prepare for the Farragut Admirals and its first taste of Class 6A football at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field Thursday, Sept. 3.

However, “We’re going to have to get some people healthy.” Meadows said. “Spencer [Mackle, senior wide-out] wasn’t 100 percent tonight, we didn’t have [junior running back/linebacker] Cody Shirley, didn’t have [senior wide-out] Jake Faris.”

Shirley and Faris are expected to be back for the FHS game.


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