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Irish offense anemic after opening drive at Farragut

The Knoxville Catholic Fighting Irish took the short trip down Kingston Pike for its first 2011 District game against the Farragut Admirals at Bill Clabo Field on Friday night, September 2.

Catholic (2-1, 0-1 District) only managed to put together two solid drives on offense and the Farragut (2-1, 1-0) rushing attack wore down the Irish defense, resulting in a 31-10 Catholic loss.

Riding the momentum of a strong first two weeks, the Irish put together an impressive opening drive, but were disappointed when it ended in only 3-points as the Admiral defense stiffened as Catholic closed in on the end zone.

Catholic was moving the ball at will but stumbled after a holding penalty moved them from first-and-ten at the Farragut 15-yard line to first-and-twenty at the Admiral 25.

“We drove all the way down and then shot ourselves in the foot,” said senior quarterback Matt Armstrong, “versus a team like Farragut you can’t do that, you have to get touchdowns.”

The hot Irish offense became anemic after the opening drive. Catholic stumbled with a fumble, recovered by Farragut, and four consecutive three-and-outs on its next five possessions.

“We never got into a rhythm on offense,” said head coach Scott Meadows, “they were moving some people around and did a few things that we had not seen and I think we got a little wide eyed, and that’s not like us.”

The Irish offense would not get another first down until late in the third quarter.

“Every game you face adversity,” said senior linebacker Nick Bonfini, “when the offense is struggling like we were, our defense has to dig deep. This is a good learning opportunity for us.”

The Irish were aided by several Admiral penalties (11 for 100 yards), including two that wiped out 2 Farragut touchdowns.

At the half Catholic was only down 14-points, but lightning would strike when Jacob Johnson took the opening half kick-off 99-yards for a touchdown and the young Irish team did not recover.

“They are going to have to learn how to overcome that,” said Meadows, “we have a long season ahead of us and this is only our third ball game. We are going to get to see how everyone reacts to their first taste of adversity.”

Catholic managed to put together its best drive late in the fourth quarter. Matt Armstrong connected with freshman Logan Lacey for a three-yard touchdown reception, capping a 19-play, 88-yard drive. The drive ate up over 8-minutes and left the Irish no time to mount a comeback.

Irish standout running back Nolan Coulter’s string of consecutive 100-yard rushing games ended with the Admiral defense holding him short by 4-yards. The junior ended the night with 20 rushes for 96-yards.

Knoxville Catholic gets a bi-week and will host William Blount on September 16 at Blaine Stadium.


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