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Lead lost, Irish worn down by BHS

Class 5A Knoxville Catholic knew it had a disadvantage at the start of the 2009 season.

The district realignment put them in District 4-AAA, meaning they would go head-to-head with Class 6A schools such as Maryville, Farragut and Bearden.

The disadvantage was depth.

Friday night, Oct. 30, at KCHS’s Blaine Stadium the Fighting Irish (5-5 overall, 3-4 District 4-AAA) ran out of steam against the Bearden Bulldogs (8-2, 5-2), which rallied from a 16-7 deficit late in the first half for a 35-16 victory.

“The big difference is that the bigger schools that we are playing, they are not having to play linemen both ways,” Irish head coach Scott Meadows said. “It’s a situation that we’re in so we’re just going to have to get better and deal with it.”

The Irish drew first blood when senior kicker Luke Mishu drilled a 43-yard field goal with 6:25 left in the first quarter.

Catholic’s defense played strong early, forcing punts on Bearden’s first two drives.

Junior Michael Bonfini then blocked a field goal attempt on the Bulldogs’ third drive preserving the Irish 3-0 lead.

Down 7-3 after a Bulldogs touchdown, the Irish marched 65 yards ending when senior running back Dorian Cozart scored from the Bearden 2.

The Bulldogs later missed a 45-yard field goal.

However, “Our defense was on the field for a very long time,” KCHS running back/linebacker Cody Shirley said. “Without our offense on the field you can’t score a whole lot of points.”

Shirley disproved his own theory, intercepting a Kyle Riemer pass and returning it 32 yards for an Irish score and a 16-7 lead with 57 seconds left in the half.


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