Pre-Game Notes: Catholic at Soddy Daisy

CATHOLIC Irish (2-2/0-0)


SODDY-DAISY Trojans (3-1/0-1)

September 15, 2017

Robert Talaska Field

7:30 p.m.


SETTING THE SCENE – Catholic plays its first Region 4-5A game…this is Catholic’s fourth road game of the season… this is the first meeting between the teams…Catholic is ranked third in this week’s Associated Press Class 5A poll…Irish have posted four consecutive 10-win seasons…Irish have won 134 of their last 177 games… Sompayrac had a season-high 249 passing yards in last week’s win… Bussell had 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns last week…Irish defense posted several season low (and high) numbers last week…Mahoney. Moore lead the Irish in tackles…Blakely leads in interceptions with three…Robertson is perfect on extra points (17-17) this season…Catholic is plus-three in turnover margin…


THE RECORDS – Catholic is 2-2 in 2017. The Irish won at Cleveland last week, 33-7. Soddy-Daisy is 3-1 this year, including a 0-1 mark in Region 4-5A. The Trojans won at Hixson, 49-13, 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 52-25, and his record at Catholic is 42-14. 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 (2-2/0-0) Soddy-Daisy (3-1/0-1)

8/18 @Maryville L, 49-42 8/18 Red Bank W, 35-32
8/25 @Baylor W, 56-24 8/25 @East Hamilton W, 49-14

9/1 ELCA L, 55-10 9/1 @Lenoir City* L, 15-14

9/8 @Cleveland W, 33-7 9/8 @Hixson W, 49-13

9/15 @Soddy-Daisy* 9/15 Catholic*

9/22 Brentwood Academy 9/22 Ooltewah

9/28 Rhea County* 9/29 Open Date

10/6 West Greene 10/5 Bradley Central

10/13 @Walker Valley* 10/13 @Rhea County*

10/20 Open Date 10/20 @Signal Mountain

10/27 Lenoir City* 10/27 Walker Valley*

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


Lenoir City 1-0 3-1

Rhea County 1-0 2-2

Catholic 0-0 2-2

Soddy-Daisy 0-1 3-1

Walker Valley 0-1 0-4


Last week’s results

Catholic 33, @Cleveland 7

Soddy-Daisy 49, @Hixson 13

@Lenoir City 41, CAK 21

@Rhea County 21, McMinn County 20

@Stone Memorial 62, Walker Valley 55


Friday’s games

Catholic @ Soddy-Daisy

Lenoir City @ Rhea County

Walker Valley – Open Date


ASSOCIATED PRESS CLASS 5A POLL – Catholic is ranked third in this week’s Associated Press Class 5A poll. The Top 10 includes: 1. Beech (4/144) 2. Fulton (4/138); 3. Catholic (117); 4. Columbia (105); 5. Page (86); 6. Daniel Boone (52); 7. Rhea County (51); 8. Munford (37); 9. Oak Ridge (25); 10. Gallatin (19).


WEEK FOUR – Catholic evened its record at 2-2 with its 33-7 win at Cleveland. The Irish posted a 2-0 lead late in the first quarter when a Blue Raider running back was tackled in the end zone for a safety. A 26-yard field goal from Paxton Robertson moved the Irish ahead, 5-0, early in the second stanza. The lead was short-lived, however, as Cleveland scored on a long touchdown run on the ensuing possession. The Blue Raider advantage would last just 1:45, as Jack Sompayrac passed 20 yards to Dashon Bussell to give Catholic a 12-7 lead. Catholic’s defense once again got in on the scoring, as Jack Jancek returned an interception 48 yards to paydirt to give the Irish a 19-7 advantage. A second Sompayrac-to-Bussell connection, this a 35-yarder, upped the halftime margin to 26-7. A one-yard run from Joe Fluker late in the third quarter capped the scoring.  Sompayrac was 15-of-27 passing for a season-high 249 yards. Bussell had five grabs for a season-high 110 yards and two scores. Cameron Blakely also had five receptions totaling 69 yards. DJ Mitchell led the Irish rushing attack with 55 yards on eight carries and also added a 49-yard pass reception. The Irish defense had a stellar outing, posting season lows for first downs allowed (9), rushing yards allowed (144), passing yards allowed (57), and total offense allowed (201). The Catholic defense also posted season highs for tackles-for-loss (ten) and sacks (six). Stiles Moore led the way with 13 tackles, including three TFL’s and two sacks. Jake Mahoney added ten stops, including 2 TFL’s. In addition to his interception, Jancek had eight tackles, including one TFL. Cody Duncan also posted eight tackles and one TFL. Ray Thompson had seven stops, while Cade Mays had six tackles, including two sacks and a TFL. (cont’d)

Christopher Torres had six tackles, including one TFL and one sack. Both Mays and Torres had caused fumbles, as well.


WEEK THREE – Catholic saw its record fall to 1-2 with its 55-10 loss at home to Eagle’s Landing (Ga.) Christian Academy. The Irish dented the scoreboard first as Paxton Robertson nailed a 33-yard field goal on the opening possession of the game. The field goal capped a 15-play, 52-yard drive by the Irish. Following an ELCA touchdown, Jake Mahoney put the Irish ahead, 10-7, with his two-yard run midway through the second quarter. That score was the culmination of a 17-play, 60-yard drive that took 7:13 off the clock. Unfortunately for the Irish, ELCA returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and proceeded to lengthen its lead. Ray Thompson led the Irish rushing effort with 33 yards on ten carries. Jack Sompayrac was 9-of-19 passing for 91 yards and added 25 yards on the ground. Cameron Blakely had three catches for 36 yards, while DJ Mitchell had three grabs for 30 yards. Blakely also had six tackles for the Irish, with Jack Jancek also posting a half-dozen stops. Mahoney added five tackles to go along with his touchdown run.


WEEK TWO – Catholic evened its record at 1-1 with its 56-24 win at Baylor. Paxton Robertson put the Irish on the board first with his 30-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive. A five-yard run from Joshua Brown late in the opening stanza gave the Irish a 10-0 lead. Two consecutive Baylor touchdowns gave the Red Raiders a 14-10 lead with 9:28 remaining in the second quarter, but the Irish erupted for four touchdowns before halftime. A 26-yard pass from Jack Sompayrac to Dashon Bussell gave the Irish the lead again, 17-14. A 10-yard run from Brown upped the margin to 24-14, and a 43-yard Cameron Blakely interception return moved the score to 31-14. Brown’s third touchdown of the half, a four-yard run, had Catholic ahead at halftime, 38-14. A 20-yard Robertson field goal moved the lead to 41-14 before a Baylor field goal made the score 41-17. A second Sompayrac touchdown pass, an 18-yarder to Adam Jones, provided the Irish with a 49-17 lead after three quarters. Following a Baylor touchdown, Ray Thompson ended the night’s scoring with his 15-yard fourth-quarter run. Brown led the Irish rushing effort with 178 yards on 24 carries. Sompayrac added 60 yards on 11 totes. Jones was the top target, grabbing six balls for 91 yards.  Bussell had five receptions for 86 yards. The Irish piled up 525 yards in total offense on the evening. DJ Mitchell led the Irish defense with eight tackles and two interceptions. Xavier Story also added eight stops. Blakely also had two interceptions, including his 43-yard scoring pick. The Irish collected six turnovers, including fumble recoveries by Thompson and Joe Fluker.


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 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 (cont’d) 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 111 of its last 144 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 423.3 yards per-game in total offense, including 226.5 yards on the ground and 196.8 yards through the air. Defensively, Catholic allows 352.8 yards per-game, including 228.8 yards on the ground and 124.0 yards through the air. Catholic averages 35.3 points per-game. Opponents average 33.8 points per-game.


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

Rushing: Joshua Brown – 44 att., 310 yds., 5 TD

Passing: Jack Sompayrac – 56-87-2, 787 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Dashon Bussell – 17 rec., 303 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Dashon Bussell – 36 pts (6 TD’s)

Tackles: Jake Mahoney, Stiles Moore – 31     

Tackles for loss: Stiles Moore – 5

Sacks: Cade Mays, Stiles Moore – 2

Interceptions: Cameron Blakely — 3




1- Dashon Bussell (WR/DB, 6-3, 180, Sr.): 2 att, 4 yds, 5 rec, 110 yds, 2 TD (20, 35) vs. Cleveland…6 att, 15 yds, 2 rec, 16 yds vs. ELCA…6 att, 26 yds, 5 rec, 86 yds, TD (26), 1 tackle vs. Baylor…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.): 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT (48/TD) vs. Cleveland…6 tackles vs. ELCA…4 tackles vs. Baylor…12 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Maryville…

4 – Jake Mahoney (RB/LB, 5-11, 215, Sr.): 2 att, 10 yds, 2 rec, 11 yds, 10 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 PBU vs. Cleveland…4 att, 13 yds, 1 TD (2), 1 rec, 9 yds, 5 tackles vs. ELCA…3 tackles vs. Baylor…13 tackles vs. Maryville…


7 – Stiles Moore (TE/DL, 6-3, 220, So.): 13 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks vs. Cleveland…3 tackles vs. ELCA…6 tackles, 2 TFL vs. Baylor…9 tackles vs. Maryville…


8 – Cameron Blakely (WR/DB, 6-4, 205, Sr.): 5 rec, 69 yds, 5 tackles, 1 INT vs. Cleveland…3 rec, 36 yds, 6 tackles vs. ELCA…2 rec, 25 yds, 2 INT (43-yd TD) vs. Baylor…4 rec, 57 yds, 9 tackles vs. Maryville…


10 – Jack Sompayrac (QB/DB, 6-2, 200, Sr.): 3 att, 5 yds, 15-27-0, 249 yds, 2 TD (20, 35) vs. Cleveland…12 att, 25 yds, 9-19-1, 91 yds vs. ELCA…11 att, 60 yds, 16-21-1, 222 yds, 2 TD (26, 18) vs. Baylor…12 att, 46 yds, 16-20-0, 225 yds, 1 TD (57) vs. Maryville…


22 – Joe Fluker (RB/LB, 5-9, 225, Sr.): 3 att, 10 yds, TD (1), 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PBU vs. Cleveland…4 tackles vs. ELCA…4 tackles, 1 FR vs. Baylor…1 att, 2 yds, 11 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Maryville…


24 – DJ Mitchell (RB/DB, 5-8, 185, SR): 8 att, 55 yds, 1 rec, 49 yds, 1 tackle, 1 PBU vs. Cleveland…2 att, 15 yds, 3 rec, 30 yds, 2 tackles vs. ELCA…3 rec, 20 yds, 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 INT vs. Baylor…4 att, 28 yds, 1 rec, 12 yds, 7 tackles vs. Maryville…


30 – Cody Duncan (RB/LB, 6-1, 200, So.): 8 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Cleveland…3 tackles vs. ELCA…4 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU vs. Baylor…10 tackles, 2 TFL vs. Maryville…


31 – Joshua Brown (RB/LB, 6-3, 220, Sr.): DNP vs. Cleveland…3 att, 12 yds vs. ELCA…24 att, 178 yds, 3 TD (5, 10, 4), 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 PBU vs. Baylor…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.): 4/4 XP, 1/2 FG (26, 21) vs Cleveland…1/1 XP , 1/1 FG (33) vs. ELCA…6/6 XP, 2/2 FG (30, 20) vs. Baylor…6/6 XP vs. Maryville…


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


Dashon Bussell Maryville 4-147-2

Joshua Brown Maryville 17-120-2

Joshua Brown Baylor 24-178-3


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


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

Cleveland 15-27-0, 249 yds, 2 TD


100-YARDS RECEIVING – Catholic has had one 100-yard receiving game this season. Here’s a look:

Dashon Bussell Cleveland 5-110-2


DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLES – Catholic has had six 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

Stiles Moore Cleveland 13

Jake Mahoney Cleveland 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 plus-three in turnover margin in 2017. The Irish have thrown two interceptions and have lost four fumbles. Opponents have thrown six interceptions and have lost three fumbles.


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 Brentwood Academy next Friday.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., at Blaine Stadium/Hollin Field.

Game Notes written by Jeff Patton