Pre-Game Notes: Catholic at Baylor (Chattanooga)

CATHOLIC Irish (0-1)


BAYLOR Red Raiders (1-0)

                                                           August 25, 2017                                                         

Heywood Stadium/E.B. “Red” Etter Field

7:30 p.m.



SETTING THE SCENE – Catholic plays its second consecutive road game… Irish play four of their first five games on the road in 2017… Catholic leads the series with Baylor, 2-0… these teams haven’t met since the 2008 season…Irish have posted four consecutive 10-win seasons…Irish have won 132 of their last 174 games…Catholic is ranked first in this week’s Associated Press Class 5A poll…Baylor is ranked third in this week’s Associated Press Division II poll…Catholic had both Bussell (147) and Brown (120) rushe for more than 100 yards last week…Bussell scored three touchdowns last week, while Brown scored twice…Sompayrac was 16-of-20 passing…Irish had 543 yards in total offense last week…Mahoney led the Irish defense with 13 tackles…Jancek posted 12 stops… Irish will compete in Class 5A, Region 4 this season…


THE RECORDS – Catholic is 0-1 in 2017. The Irish lost at Maryville last week, 49-42. Baylor is 1-0 this year. The Red Raiders defeated Notre Dame, 42-21, last week.


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 50-24, and his record at Catholic is 40-13. 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 (0-1)                                     Baylor (1-0)

8/18     @Maryville     L, 42-49                      8/18     Notre Dame    W, 42-21
8/25     @Baylor                                             8/25     Catholic

9/1       Eagles Landing (Ga.)                          9/1       @Marist (Ga.)

9/8       @Cleveland                                        9/8       @Ensworth

9/15     @Soddy-Daisy                                   9/15     Pope John Paul II

9/22     Brentwood Academy                         9/22     @Chattanooga Christian

9/28     Rhea County                                       9/29     @Brentwood Academy

10/6     West Greene                                       10/6     Open Date

10/13   @Walker Valley                                 10/13   McCallie

10/20   Open Date                                           10/20   @Father Ryan

10/27   Lenoir City                                          10/27   Montgomery Bell Academy


SERIES VS. BAYLOR – Catholic leads the series with Baylor, 2-0. Here’s a look:

2007: @Catholic 34, Baylor 16

2008: Catholic 21, @Baylor 20 (OT)


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


Lenoir City                  0-0                   1-0

Soddy-Daisy               0-0                   1-0

Catholic                      0-0                   0-1

Rhea County               0-0                   0-1

Walker Valley             0-0                   0-1


Last week’s results

@Maryville 49, Catholic 42

@Lenoir City 34, William Blount 18

Cleveland 21, @Rhea County 14

@Soddy-Daisy 35, Red Bank 32

Chattanooga Central 48, Walker Valley 36 (at Finley Stadium)


Friday’s games

Catholic @ Baylor

Lenoir City @ Loudon

Blackman @ Rhea County

Soddy-Daisy @ East Hamilton

Bradley Central @ Walker Valley



ASSOCIATED PRESS CLASS 5A POLL – Catholic is ranked first in this week’s

Associated Press Class 5A poll with 91 overall points and eight first-place votes. The remainder of the Top 10 includes: 2. Hillsboro (74); t3. Oak Ridge (62); t3. Fulton (2/62); 5. Beech (59); 6. Rhea County (58); 7. Knox. Central (43); 8. Page (42); 9. Daniel Boone (23); 10. Henry County (22).


ASSOCIATED PRESS DIVISION II POLL – Baylor is ranked third in this week’s Associated Press Division II poll. Brentwood Academy is ranked first with 90 overall points and nine first place votes. The remainder of the Top 10 includes: 2. Ensworth (1/87); 3. Baylor (60); 4. MBA (59); 5. McCallie (50); 6. MUS (32); 7. Lausanne (24); 8. CBHS (21); 9. CPA (18); 10. Notre Dame (17).


WEEK ONE – Catholic opened the 2017 campaign with a 49-42 loss at Maryville. Joshua Brown, who rushed for 120 yards on the evening, put the Irish on the scoreboard first with his two-yard run. A 64-yard dash from Dashon Bussell gave the Irish a 14-0 lead after one quarter. After Maryville posted its’ first touchdown, Cade Mays capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive with his two-yard run. Two Maryville scores tied the game at 21-21, but Jack Sompayrac connected with Bussell on a 57-yard scoring pass (cont’d) just before halftime to give the Irish a 28-21 lead at the break. Maryville scored first in the third quarter, but a missed extra point left Catholic ahead, 28-27. Brown’s second rushing touchdown of the evening, this a 16-yarder, put the Irish ahead, 35-27. Two Rebel scores gave Maryville its first lead of the evening with less than five minutes remaining. Catholic quickly tied the game as Bussell, who had 147 yards on four carries, raced 67 yards to paydirt. Maryville scored its game-winning touchdown with 1:29 remaining in the contest, and a last second Sompayrac pass attempt into the Maryville end zone was batted down. Sompayrac was 16-of-20 passing for 225 yards on the evening. In addition to his rushing exploits, Bussell had five receptions for 91 yards. Catholic had 543 yards in total offense on the evening. Jake Mahoney led the Irish defense with 13 tackles. Jack Jancek had a dozen stops, while Joe Fluker (11) and Cody Duncan (10) both had double-digit tackle efforts.


RACK ‘EM UP – Catholic has won 109 of its last 141 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 averages 543.0 yards per-game in total offense, including 318.0 yards on the ground and 225.0 yards through the air. Defensively, Catholic allows 474.0 yards per-game, including 257.0 yards on the ground and 217.0 yards through the air. Catholic averages 42.0 points per-game. Opponents average 49.0 points per-game.


INDIVIDUAL LEADERS – Here are Catholic’s leaders in various individual categories:

Rushing: Dashon Bussell – 4 att., 147 yds., 2 TD

Passing: Jack Sompayrac – 16-20-0, 225 yds., 1 TD

Receiving: Dashon Bussell – 5 rec., 91 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Dashon Bussell – 18 pts (3 TD’s)

Tackles: Jake Mahoney – 13

Tackles for loss: Cody Duncan – 2

Sacks: Joshua Brown – 1





1- Dashon Bussell (WR/DB, 6-3, 180, Sr.): 4 att, 147 yds, 2 TD (64, 67), 5 rec, 91 yds, 1 TD (57) vs. Maryville…


3 – Jack Jancek (QB/DB, 6-3, 185, So.): 12 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Maryville…


4 – Jake Mahoney (RB/LB, 5-11, 215, Sr.): 13 tackles vs. Maryville…


7 – Stiles Moore (TE/DL, 6-3, 220, So.): 9 tackles vs. Maryville…


8 – Cameron Blakely (WR/DB, 6-4, 205, Sr.): 4 rec, 57 yds, 9 tackles vs. Maryville…


10 – Jack Sompayrac (QB/DB, 6-2, 200, Sr.): 12 att, 46 yds, 16-20-0, 225 yds, 1 TD (57) vs. Maryville…


22 – Joe Fluker (RB/LB, 5-9, 225, Sr.): 1 att, 2 yds, 11 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Maryville…


24 – DJ Mitchell (RB/DB, 5-8, 185, SR): 4 att, 28 yds, 1 rec, 12 yds, 7 tackles vs. Maryville…


30 – Cody Duncan (RB/LB, 6-1, 200, So.): 10 tackles, 2 TFL vs. Maryville…


31 – Joshua Brown (RB/LB, 6-3, 220, Sr.): 17 att, 120 yds, 2 TD (2, 16), 2 rec, 28 yds, 6 tackles, 1 sack vs. Maryville…


45 – Paxton Robertson (K, 5-10, 200, So.): 6/6 XP vs. Maryville…


100-YARD RUSHERS – Catholic has had two 100-yard rushing efforts in 2017. Here’s a look:

PLAYER                   OPPONENT              ATT-YDS-TD

Dashon Bussell           Maryville                     4-147-2

Joshua Brown             Maryville                     17-120-2


225-YARDS PASSING – Jack Sompayrac has one 225-yard passing games this season. Here’s a look:


Maryville                     16-20-0, 225 yds, 1 TD


DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLES – Catholic has had four double-digit tackle effort this season. Here’s a look:

Player                         Opponent                   Tackles

Jake Mahoney             Maryville                     13

Jack Jancek                 Maryville                     12

Joe Fluker                    Maryville                     11

Cody Duncan              Maryville                     10


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


TURNOVER MARGIN – Catholic is even in turnover margin in 2017. The Irish have thrown no interceptions and have lost one fumble. Opponents have thrown no interceptions and have lost one fumble.





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 plays host to Eagle’s Landing (Ga.) next Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., at Blaine Stadium/Hollin Field.

Pre-Game Notes by Jeff Patton.