Pre-Game Notes: Catholic at Maryville

CATHOLIC Irish (0-0)


MARYVILLE Rebels (0-0)

August 18, 2017

Jim Renfro Field

7:30 p.m.



SETTING THE SCENE – Catholic opens its regular season…Irish will compete in Class 5A, Region 4 this season…Irish play four of their first five games on the road in 2017…Maryville leads the series with Catholic, 4-0… these teams haven’t met since the 2012 season…Irish have posted four consecutive 10-win seasons…Irish have won 132 of their last 173 games…Catholic was +31 in turnover margin a year ago… Mays was Class 4A Mr. Football (Lineman) in 2016… Fluker is Catholic’s returning leader in rushing with 263 yards…Mahoney is Catholic’s leading returning tackler with 91…Robertson was 70-75 on extra points last year and is Catholic’s leading returning scorer with 79 points…


THE RECORDS – Catholic was 10-2 in 2016. The Irish reached the second round of the TSSAA Class 4A playoffs. Maryville was 13-1 overall last year. The Rebels reached the semifinal round of the Class 6A playoffs.


ON THE SIDELINE – Steve Matthews is in his fifth year at the helm of the Irish. He also serves as Catholic’s offensive coordinator. Matthews came to Catholic from Seigel High School in Murfreesboro, where he served as offensive coordinator from 2010-2012. He was head coach at Moore County in 2008 and 2009 and posted a 10-11 record. He also served as QB/WR coach at Tullahoma, his high school alma mater, from 2004-2007. His overall record is 50-23, and his record at Catholic is 40-12. The Irish have reached the TSSAA Playoffs in each of Matthews’ seasons at Catholic. His playoff record is 10-3, and his 2015 squad won the TSSAA Class 4A state championship. Matthews played collegiately at Tennessee and Memphis. He played professionally with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Oilers.


SEASON SCHEDULES – Here are 2017 schedules for both teams:

Catholic (0-0)                                                 Maryville (0-0)

8/18     @Maryville                                         8/18     Catholic
8/25     @Baylor                                              8/25     @Oakland

9/1       Eagles Landing (Ga.)                          9/1       McMinn County

9/8       @Cleveland                                        9/8       @Alcoa

9/15     @Soddy-Daisy                                   9/15     Open Date

9/22     Brentwood Academy                         9/22     Fulton

9/28     Rhea County                                       9/29     @William Blount

10/6     West Greene                                       10/6     @Cleveland

10/13   @Walker Valley                                 10/12   @Ooltewah

10/20   Open Date                                           10/20   Heritage

10/27   Lenoir City                                          10/27   Bradley Central

SERIES VS. MARYVILLE – Maryville leads the series with Catholic, 4-0. Here’s a look:

2009: Maryville 28, @Catholic 21

2010: @Maryville 28, Catholic 14

2011: Maryville 35, @Catholic 7

2012: @Maryville 38, Catholic 6


REGION 4-5A STANDINGS – Here’s a look at the 2017 Region 4-5A standings:


Catholic                      0-0                   0-0

Lenoir City                  0-0                   0-0

Rhea County               0-0                   0-0

Soddy-Daisy               0-0                   0-0

Walker Valley             0-0                   0-0


Thursday’s game

Walker Valley vs. Chattanooga Central (at Finley Stadium)


Friday’s games

Catholic @ Maryville

William Blount @ Lenoir City

Cleveland @ Rhea County

Red Bank @ Soddy-Daisy


RACK ‘EM UP – Catholic has won 109 of its last 140 regular-season games.


REGION FOES – Catholic participates in Region 4-5A. Region foes for the Irish include Lenoir City, Rhea County, Soddy-Daisy, and Walker Valley.


TEAM STATS – Catholic averaged 417.7 yards per-game in total offense last year, including 173.8 yards on the ground and 243.9 yards through the air. Defensively, Catholic allowed 266.4 yards per-game, including 126.6 yards on the ground and 139.8 yards through the air. Catholic averaged 50.5 points per-game. Opponents averaged 18.0 points per-game.


MAKE IT QUICK – Catholic’s offense has had 32 scoring drives lasting less than one minute last season. Thirteen of those scoring drives were of the one-play variety.


ON THE BOARD – Catholic scored 50 or more points six times in 2016.


TURNOVER MARGIN – Catholic was plus-31 in turnover margin in 2016. The Irish threw four interceptions and lost three fumbles. Opponents threw 20 interceptions and lost 18 fumbles.



RETURNING STAT LEADERS – Here’s a look at Catholic’s returning statistical leaders in various categories –

Rushing: Joe Fluker (24 att., 263 yds, 4 TD)

Passing: Jack Sompayrac (11-19-0, 98 yds)

Receiving: Cameron Blakely (27 rec., 448 yds, 5 TD)

Interceptions: Jake Mahoney, DJ Mitchell (2)

Scoring: Paxton Robertson (79 points; 3/4 FG; 70/75/XP)

Tackles: Jake Mahoney (91)


THE LAST GO ‘ROUND – Catholic’s 2017 roster includes 12 seniors. Included are Dashon Bussell (WR/DB), Jake Mahoney (RB/LB), Tre Brown (WR/LB), Cameron Blakely (WR/DB), Jack Sompayrac (QB/DB), Joe Fluker (RB/LB), DJ Mitchell (WR/DB), Joshua Brown (RB/LB), Jim Branch (C/DL), Cade Mays (OT/DE), LB Liverman (OL/DL), and Ian Sauter (K).


ON THE STAFF – Serving as assistant coaches for the Irish are: Les Greer (Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers), Justin Anderson (Offensive Line), Sam Brown (Running Backs), Drew Franklin (Wide Receivers), Kevin Lane (Defensive Line), Daniel Hood (Outside Linebackers), Kris White (Defensive Backs),  and J.D. Gambil (Offensive Line assistant).


ON THE RADIO – Tonight’s game is being broadcast on WNML, The Sports Animal (99.1 FM). John Wilkerson handles play-by-play, while former Catholic quarterback and 1999 Mr. Football winner Rob Demastus adds commentary.


UP NEXT – Catholic travels to Baylor next Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.