Pre-Game Notes: Catholic vs. Beech

CATHOLIC Irish (11-3)

vs.

BEECH Buccaneers (14-0)

November 30, 2017

8 p.m. (Eastern)

Tennessee Tech University

Tucker Stadium/Overall Field

TSSAA Class 5A Playoffs – Championship

 

SETTING THE SCENE – Catholic makes its 25th appearance in the TSSAA Playoffs…this is Catholic’s fourth state championship game appearance…Catholic won the 2015 Class 4A state title and the 2008 Class 3A championship…Irish won Region 4-5A this season…Beech won Region 6-5A… Beech was ranked first and Catholic was ranked second in the final Associated Press Class 5A poll of the season…Irish on a eight-game winning streak…Catholic has posted five-consecutive 10-win seasons…Catholic’s three losses have come to teams with a combined record of 36-1… Irish average 418.9 yards and 43.2 points per game…in four playoff games Catholic is averaging 426.5 yards and 45.5 points per-game…Catholic’s defense has 17 interceptions, with five returned for touchdowns…Irish defense allowing 294.0 yards and 17.5 points per-game during the playoffs…Catholic is plus-13 in turnover margin…Catholic has outscored its opponents 150-42 in the first quarter and 401-201 in the first half this season…

 

INDIVIDUALLY SPEAKING – Mays named Tennessee Titans Mr. Football in Class 5A…Sompayrac with 2,337 yards and 23 touchdowns passing…Bussell has 54 receptions, including 12 touchdown grabs…Bussell has 1,030 receiving yards this season…Blakely has 44 catches and 11 touchdowns…Brown with 792 yards rushing (6.9 ypr) and 12 touchdowns…Bussell with 623 yards rushing (12.5 ypr) and eight touchdowns… Mahoney leads the Irish in tackles with 99…Moore has 13 sacks and 11 TFL’s…Mitchell has five interceptions… Robertson is 79-80 on extra-points and 8-9 on field goals this season…Robertson set a TSSAA single-season record for consecutive extra-points with 65…Bussell has 2,030 all-purpose yards…

 

THE RECORDS – Catholic is 11-3 in 2017, including a 4-0 mark in Region 4-5A. The Irish won at Central, 42-7, last week. Beech is 14-0 this year, including a 5-0 mark in Region 6-5A. The Buccaneers won at home over Brighton, 21-3, 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 62-26, and his record at Catholic is 52-15. The Irish have reached the TSSAA Playoffs in each of Matthews’ seasons at Catholic. His playoff record is 14-3, 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.

PLAYOFFS WITH COACH MATTHEWS – Catholic coach Steve Matthews has led the Irish to a 14-3 playoff record during his tenure. Here’s a look:

Year Record Result

2013 3-1 lost in semifinals

2014 1-1 lost in second round

2015 5-0 won state championship

2016 1-1 lost in second round

2017 4-0 current

 

SEASON SCHEDULES – Here are 2017 schedules for both teams:

Catholic (11-3/4-0 Region 4-5A) Beech (14-0/5-0 Region 6-5A)

8/18 @Maryville L, 49-42 8/17 @Wilson Central W, 21-13
8/25 @Baylor W, 56-24 8/25 Henry County W, 34-31

9/1 ELCA L, 55-10 8/31 Glencliff* W, 64-0

9/8 @Cleveland W, 33-7 9/8 @Hendersonville W, 35-21

9/15 @Soddy-Daisy* W, 49-48 9/15 @Hunters Lane* W, 55-7

9/22 Brentwood Academy L, 50-14 9/22 @Springfield W, 49-0

9/28 Rhea County* W, 49-24 9/29 Hillsboro* W, 20-14

10/6 West Greene W, 58-7 10/6 Station Camp W, 54-14

10/13 @Walker Valley* W, 63-42 10/13 Open Date

10/20 Open Date 10/20 Gallatin* W¸ 28-2

10/27 Lenoir City* W, 49-14 10/27 @Hillwood* W, 42-0

11/3 Campbell County W, 59-21 11/3 Columbia Central W, 49-27

11/10 Fulton W, 44-14 11/10 Hillsboro W, 10-3

11/17 @Oak Ridge W, 37-28 11/17 @Summit W, 21-16

11/24 @Central W, 42-7 11/24 Brighton W, 21-3

11/30 vs. Beech 11/30 vs. Catholic

*Region game

 

IN THE PLAYOFFS – Catholic makes its 25th appearance in the TSSAA Playoffs. The Irish have posted a 34-22 record in the TSSAA Playoffs and won the Class 4A state championship in 2015, defeating Pearl-Cohn, 48-8. Catholic also won the Class AAA state championship in 2008, defeating Memphis Mitchell, 28-18. The Irish also played in the 2003 championship game, losing to BGA, 24-19.

 

OPPONENTS IN THE PLAYOFFS – Eight Catholic opponents from this season made the TSSAA playoff field. Here’s a look:

Opponent (record) Class This week

West Greene (6-5) 3A season complete

Lenoir City (5-6) 5A season complete

Rhea County (5-6) 5A season complete

Soddy-Daisy (6-5) 5A season complete

Maryville (13-1) 6A vs. Cane Ridge

Cleveland (7-4) 6A season complete

Brentwood Academy (11-0) DII vs. MBA

Baylor (4-8) DII season complete

FIVE FOR TEN – Catholic has posted five consecutive 10-win seasons. Here’s a look:

2013: 10-4

2014: 10-2

2015: 11-4

2016: 10-2

2017: 11-3

 

ASSOCIATED PRESS CLASS 5A POLL – Catholic was ranked second in the final Associated Press Class 5A poll of the season. The Top 10 included: 1. Beech (15/150) 2. Catholic (117); 3. Summit (101); 4. Fulton (93); 5.Oak Ridge (90); 6. Daniel Boone (86); 7. Munford (70); 8. Page (48); 9. Columbia (30); 10. Henry County (18).

 

TOUGH OPPONENTS – Catholic’s three losses this season have come to teams with a combined 36-1 record. Maryville is 13-1, while Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy is 12-0 and Brentwood Academy is 11-0. Maryville (6A) and Brentwood Academy (DII-AAA) are playing for state championships this week, while Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy has reached the semifinal round of the Georgia playoffs.

 

TENNESSEE TITANS MR. FOOTBALL –Cade Mays was named 2017 Tennessee Titans Mr. Football in Class 5A. This is the first year the award did not include both back and lineman selections. Mays won the award in the lineman category in 2016. Here’s a look at previous Mr. Football winners from Catholic:

1999 – Rob Demastus (Back)

2003 – Jeremy Bentley (Lineman)

2005 – Nick McFadden (Back)

2006 – Harrison Smith (Back)

2008 – Daniel Hood (Lineman)

2010 – Kyler Kerbyson (Lineman)

2015 – Amari Rodgers (Back)

2016 – Amari Rodgers (Back)

2016 – Cade Mays (Lineman)

2017 – Cade Mays

 

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

REGION OVERALL

Catholic 4-0 11-3

Rhea County 3-1 5-6

Lenoir City 2-2 5-6

Soddy-Daisy 1-3 6-5

Walker Valley 0-4 1-9

 

Last week’s result

Catholic 42, @Central 7

 

Thursday’s game

Catholic vs. Beech

REGION 6-5A STANDINGS – Here’s a look at the 2017 Region 6-5A standings:
REGION OVERALL
Beech 5-0 14-0

Gallatin 4-1 7-4

Hillsboro 3-2 7-5

Hillwood 2-3 3-8

Hunters Lane 1-4 1-9

Glencliff 0-5 1-9

 

WEEK FIFTEEN (TSSAA Playoffs/Semifinal Round) – Playing in the semifinal round for the third time in five years, Catholic went on the road and defeated Central, 42-7. A 28-yard pass from Jack Sompayrac to Dashon Bussell capped a seven-play, 57-yard drive to give the Irish a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. On Central’s next possession, Jake Mahoney grabbed an errant Bobcat pass and the Irish were in scoring position. A 27-yard Paxton Robertson field goal provided Catholic with a 10-0 advantage after one quarter. The Irish were back in the end zone again early in the second stanza as Joshua Brown rambled 10 yards to paydirt. After forcing a Central punt, Catholic proceeded on a 14-play, 69-yard drive, capped by a 12-yard run from Sompayrac. Central posted its only score of the evening on its ensuing drive, leaving the halftime score 24-7. A 26-yard Robertson field goal on Catholic’s first possession of the second half lifted the Irish to a 27-7 advantage. Following a Central fumble, Sompayrac connected with Adam Jones on a 31-yard touchdown strike to move the margin to 34-7. A seven-yard run from Sompayrac, followed by Brown’s conversion run, upped the advantage to 42-7 early in the fourth quarter and set the rolling clock into play. Brown topped the Irish rushing attack with 67 yards on nine carries. Sompayrac added 58 yards on 13 tries. Sompayrac was 15-of-21 passing for 204 yards. Bussell was the main target, grabbing five balls for 88 yards. DJ Mitchell also had five receptions for 37 yards. Catholic’s defense posted season-best totals in first downs allowed (8) and total offense allowed (172) on the evening. In addition to his interception, Mahoney had 12 tackles and a fumble recovery. Stiles Moore added 11 tackles, including two TFL’s and a sack. Joe Fluker had nine stops for the Irish.

 

WEEK FOURTEEN (TSAA Playoffs/Quarterfinal Round – A first-ever meeting with Oak Ridge proved fruitful for Catholic as it defeated the homestanding Wildcats, 37-28, in the quarterfinal round of the TSSAA Playoffs. DJ Mitchell put the Irish in immediate scoring position with his 70-yard return of the opening kickoff to the Wildcat 15-yard line. Jack Sompayrac capped a four-play drive with his seven-yard run to put Catholic ahead, 7-0. The Irish moved ahead, 14-0, late in the first half when Joshua Brown bulled in from two yards. Oak Ridge scored later in the quarter to make the halftime score 14-6. A 10-yard run from Joe Fluker moved the Irish margin to 21-6 midway through the third quarter, and a 35-yard pass from Sompayrac to Cameron Blakely moved the Irish lead to 28-6. Oak Ridge scored on the ensuing possession to leave the score at 28-12 heading into the final stanza. Another Wildcat touchdown cut the Irish lead to 28-20 midway through the fourth quarter. Later in the quarter the Irish posted a safety when Oak Ridge committed a penalty in its own end zone. The Wildcats were unsuccessful on an onsides attempt on the free kick, leaving the Irish at the Oak Ridge 26-yard line. A (cont’d) Sompayrac 27-yard pass to Dashon Bussell moved the Irish lead to 37-20 with 2:30 remaining. Oak Ridge would score a touchdown on its ensuing possession, but the Irish proceeded to run out the clock following another failed onsides attempt. Sompayrac led the Irish rushing attack with 67 yards on 12 carries, while Brown added 63 yards on 16 totes. Sompayrac was 13-of-20 passing for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Bussell had five grabs for 63 yards, with Blakely hauling in four balls for 82 yards. Brown led the Irish defense with 11.5 tackles, including 2 TFL’s and 1.5 sacks. Mitchell had 11 tackles, four PBU’s, an interception, and a caused fumble. Jake Mahoney had nine tackles, while Stiles Moore added eight stops and a fumble recovery.

 

WEEK THIRTEEN (TSSAA Playoffs/Second Round) – Catholic defeated Fulton, 44-14, in the second round of the TSSAA Playoffs at Blaine Stadium/Hollin Field. The Irish posted season-highs in first downs (27) and rushing yards (401) in the contest. Joe Fluker capped off Catholic’s opening drive of the game with his one-yard plunge midway through the first quarter. After forcing a Fulton turnover on downs, the Irish were back in the end zone four plays later as Jack Sompayrac connected with Dashon Bussell on a 58-yard scoring strike. A 32-yard field goal from Paxton Robertson upped the Irish advantage to 16-0 early in the second stanza. A Fulton score cut the lead to 16-8, but the Irish would answer. A 10-yard run from Joshua Brown capped a 14-play, 65-yard drive and gave the Irish a 23-8 lead. A 48-yard scamper from Bussell moved the lead to 30-8 late in the third quarter, and a 52-yard Bussell dash early in the final quarter moved the margin to 37-8.  After Bryn Tucker recovered a Falcon fumble on the next possession, Catholic was in the end zone again with another one-yard plunge from Fluker. A late Fulton touchdown accounted for the final margin. Brown carried 19 times for 142 yards on the evening, while Bussell added 125 yards on just six carries. Sompayrac had 62 yards on 11 totes, while Fluker provided 42 yards on 12 carries. Bussell also had two catches for 73 yards, while Brown had two grabs for 20 yards. The Irish defense had seven TFL’s and five sacks on the evening. Jake Mahoney led the way with seven tackles, including two TFL’s and two sacks. Cameron Blakely and Xavier Story had six stops each. DJ Mitchell had five tackles, including a TFL, while Stiles Moore also had five stops, including a TFL and a sack. Jack Jancek also collected five tackles.

 

WEEK TWELVE (TSSAA Playoffs/First round) – Catholic opened the 2017 TSSAA Class 5A playoffs with a 59-21 home win over Campbell County. Joe Fluker put the Irish on the board late in the first quarter with his one-yard run. Campbell County evened the score on the ensuing drive, but the Irish then reeled off four consecutive touchdowns over the next 7:12. A 58-yard run from Dashon Bussell moved the score to14-7. Jack Jancek then threw the first of three second-quarter touchdown passes, connecting with DJ Mitchell on a 60-yard strike. A 47-yard connection with Bussell was followed by a 63-yard toss to Cameron Blakely and the score moved to 35-7. Campbell County scored with 11 seconds left in the half, but the scoreboard changed again as Bussell ran the ensuing kickoff back 79 yards to paydirt to put the Irish ahead at halftime, 42-14. A 26-yard Paxton Robertson field goal on Catholic’s opening drive of the second half upped the margin to 45-14, and a 14-yard interception return by Joshua Brown on the ensuing possession made the score 52-14. The Cougars capped a 14-play drive with (cont’d)   their final touchdown of the evening late in the third quarter. Blakely closed out the night’s scoring with his 44-yard interception return midway through the final stanza. Jancek was 5-of-9 passing for 217 yards and three touchdowns and also added 87 rushing yards on seven carries. Bussell had 80 rushing yards and a touchdown, 54 receiving yards and a score, and a 79-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Blakely had two receptions for 103 yards and a score. Jake Mahoney led the Catholic defense with 13 tackles, while Xavier Story added 11 stops. Fluker had ten tackles, including two TFL’s and a sack.

 

WEEK ELEVEN – Catholic wrapped up the Region 4-5A championship with its 49-14 home win over Lenoir City. After spotting the Panthers a 7-0 lead, the Irish got on the scoreboard on the final play of the first quarter. A two-yard run from Joe Fluker knotted the score at 7-7. Catholic then executed an onsides kick and took over at the Panther 45 yard-line, Three plays later, a 34-yard run from Dashon Bussell put the Irish ahead for good. A two-yard run from Joshua Brown upped the margin to 21-7 midway through the second quarter, but the Panthers scored on their ensuing drive to pull to within 21-14. Catholic scored two minutes later on a 21-yard pass from Jack Jancek to Cameron Blakely to move ahead, 28-14. After forcing a Lenoir City punt, Catholic scored in just three plays as Bussell ran 14 yards to paydirt to put the Irish ahead at halftime, 35-14. Brown, who had 106 yards on ten carries, went in from 24 yards midway through the third quarter to move the score to 42-14. A 25-yard pass from Jancek to Blakely less than two minutes later accounted for the final margin. In addition to Brown’s rushing effort, Bussell added 60 yards on just four carries. Jancek was 7-of-13 passing for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Blakely had three receptions for 73 yards and two scores, while Bussell had three grabs for 33 yards. The Irish defense gave up a season-low 176 yards in total offense to the Panthers, including just 20 rushing yards. Cade Mays had six tackles, including one for-loss, while DJ Mitchell also had a half-dozen stops and an interception. Stiles Moore had 5.5 tackles, including 2.5 sacks. Brown had 5.5 tackles and 0.5 sacks. Sam Sompayrac also collected an interception.

 

WEEK TEN – Catholic enjoyed an open date.

 

WEEK NINE – Catholic improved to 6-3 overall and 3-0 in Region 4-5A with its 63-42 win at Walker Valley. The Irish led 42-0 after the first quarter and 56-14 at halftime. Dashon Bussell put the Irish on the board just 37 seconds into the contest with his 30-yard run. Two Jack Sompayrac touchdown passes – 20 yards to Cameron Blakely and 76 yards to DJ Mitchell – had Catholic ahead, 21-0, midway through the first quarter. A seven-yard run from Joshua Brown upped the score to 28-0, and a second Sompayrac-to-Blakely connection, this a 41-yarder, moved the score to 35-0. After a 6-for-7 effort for 205 yards and three touchdowns, the night ended early for Sompayrac and the rest of the Irish offensive starters. The scoring continued however, as Jack Jancek passed 36 yards to Adam Jones to put the Irish ahead, 42-0, after one period. A six-yard dash from Taylor Shannon early in the second quarter upped the margin to 49-0. Following a Walker Valley touchdown, a 26-yard run from Cooper Whitt had the Irish out front, 56-7. A Mustang score on the final play of the second quarter left the score 56-14 at halftime. Nicklaus Iverson scored Catholic’s final touchdown as he raced 67 yards to paydirt late in the contest. With reserves seeing the bulk of the night’s action, (cont’d)   14 different players had carries for the Irish. Iverson led the way with 99 yards on five totes. Whitt added 35 yards on four carries. Four different quarterbacks saw action, and eight players had receptions. Blakely led in that category with three grabs for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Xavier Story led the Irish defense with eight tackles. Jancek added seven stops and collected his third interception of the year. Cade Mays had five tackles, including two for-loss and a sack. Whitt and Kaden White also had five tackles. Logan Bruce had four tackles, including a TFL and sack, and also caused a fumble.    

 

WEEK EIGHT – Catholic moved its record to 5-3 overall with its 58-7 Homecoming win over West Greene. The Irish offense posted season highs in touchdowns (8) and rushing touchdowns (6) in the contest. A pair of first-quarter scoring passes from Jack Sompayrac to Dashon Bussell (9 yds) and Cameron Blakely (27 yds) had the Irish ahead, 14-0, after one period. Rushing touchdowns from Joe Fluker (2 yds) and Cade Mays (1 yd) had Catholic ahead at halftime, 28-0. The rushing onslaught continued in the third quarter, as Joshua Brown (1 yd), Ray Thompson (13 yds), and Cooper Whitt (2 yds) found their way to paydirt. The Irish defense got in on the scoring as well, as it forced an intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety. Drew Gregg added a 10-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to end Catholic’s scoring on the evening. West Greene avoided a shutout with its touchdown with 1:30 remaining in the game. Brown led the Irish rushing attack with 64 yards on nine carries. Fluker added 53 yards on three carries. Thirteen different players had rushing attempts on the night for the Irish. Sompayrac was 10-of-13 passing for 209 yards. Bussell had five grabs for 104 yards and a score, while Blakely added three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Stiles Moore led the Irish defense with 7.5 tackles, including 1.5 sacks. DJ Mitchell had six stops, while Mays had 5.5 tackles, including 2 TFL’s and a half-sack. The Irish defense allowed a season-low nine first downs and 60 rushing yards on the evening,

 

WEEK SEVEN – Catholic improved to 4-3 overall and 2-0 in Region 4-5A with its 49-24 home win over Rhea County. The Irish scored on the game’s opening possession, as Jack Sompayrac passed six yards to Dashon Bussell. The score capped a quick four-play, 57-yard drive. A 12-yard scamper from Sompayrac late in the opening quarter upped the Irish lead to 14-0. Following a Rhea County score, Sompayrac connected with Cameron Blakely on a three-yard scoring pass to move the Irish ahead, 21-7. Rhea County then cut the margin to 21-14, but Bussell quickly regained the momentum for the Irish as he raced 90 yards to paydirt on the ensuing kickoff. The Eagles had a kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half, but the Irish posted three third-quarter touchdowns to blow the game open. A five-yard run from Sompayrac was followed by another Sompayrac-to-Blakely connection, this a 24-yarder. Ray Thompson added a five-yard run late in the quarter to up the Irish lead to 49-17. A Rhea County touchdown early in the fourth quarter accounted for the final margin. Sompayrac was a dual threat for the Irish on the evening, as he rushed 12 times for 112 yards and two scores, and was 13-of-16 passing for 236 yards and three touchdowns.  Bussell was the top target, grabbing five balls for 98 yards and a score. Blakely had four catches for 40 yards and two touchdowns. Jake Mahoney led the Catholic defense with 11 tackles, while Jack Jancek added ten stops. Joe Fluker had nine stops, while Thompson had eight (cont’d) tackles, including a TFL and a sack. Bussell also collected eight tackles for the Irish. LB Liverman had five tackles and a fumble recovery.

 

WEEK SIX – Catholic saw its record drop to 3-3 with its 50-14 home loss to Brentwood Academy. Brentwood Academy took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter, but the Irish evened the score at 7-7 when Jack Sompayrac connected with Cameron Blakely on an eight-yard scoring pass later in the period. The Eagles proceeded to score 27 consecutive points to open a 34-7 advantage. A ten-yard run from Joe Fluker brought the Irish to within 34-14, but Brentwood Academy added 16 more points to account for the final margin. Sompayrac was 12-of-21 passing for 112 yards, with Blakely grabbing five balls for 53 yards. Dashon Bussell had three receptions for 42 yards. Fluker led the rushing attack with 38 yards on eight carries. Fluker and Blakely also led the Irish defense with nine tackles each. LB Liverman had eight tackles, while Cody Duncan, Jack Jancek, and Jake Mahoney all had seven stops. Stiles Moore added five tackles and a fumble recovery,  

 

WEEK FIVE – Catholic improved to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in Region 4-5A with its 49-48 win at Soddy-Daisy. After spotting the Trojans a 21-0 lead after one quarter, the Irish exploded for 42 second-quarter points. A 58-yard pass from Jack Sompayrac to Dashon Bussell put the Irish on the scoreboard, but Soddy-Daisy regained its three-touchdown advantage on the ensuing possession and led, 28-7. The Irish then scored three touchdowns in the span of 2:50. Xavier Story returned an interception 38 yards to cut the deficit to 28-14. A 27-yard pass from Sompayrac to Bussell brought the Irish to within seven, and a 52-yard scoring pass from Sompayrac to DJ Mitchell pulled the Irish even at 28-28. Sompayrac’s fourth touchdown pass of the quarter, a 14-yard strike to Cameron Blakely, gave Catholic its first lead of the game, 35-28, with 1:40 remaining before halftime. A 65-yard punt return from Mitchell with 25 seconds remaining gave the Irish a 42-28 halftime advantage. After Soddy-Daisy cut the margin to 42-35, the Irish went back ahead by two touchdowns on the ensuing possession on a one-yard blast from Joe Fluker. Soddy-Daisy posted two touchdowns to trim the margin two 49-48, but a missed extra-point following the final score proved to be the difference. Sompayrac was 15-of-29 passing for a season-high 279 yards. Bussell had five receptions for 116 yards and two scores. Both Mitchell and Blakely had three grabs and a touchdown each. Fluker led the rushing effort with 89 yards on 13 carries. Fluker and Jack Jancek paced the Irish defense with nine tackles each, while Stiles Moore had eight stops. In addition to his offense and special team efforts, Mitchell had six tackles and an interception. Story had five tackles and a caused fumble to go along with his pick-six. LB Liverman had five tackles and a fumble recovery for the Irish.

 

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, (cont’d) 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. 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 (cont’d) 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

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 116 of its last 150 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 418.9 yards per-game in total offense, including 218.1 yards on the ground and 200.8 yards through the air. Defensively, Catholic allows 324.9 yards per-game, including 170.9 yards on the ground and 154.1 yards through the air. Catholic averages 43.2 points per-game. Opponents average 27.9 points per-game.

 

TEAM STATS (Playoffs) In four playoff games Catholic averages 426.5 yards per-game in total offense, including 242.5 yards on the ground and 184.0 yards through the air. Defensively, Catholic allows 294.0 yards per-game, including 137.8 yards on the ground and 156.3 yards through the air. Catholic averages 45.5 points per-game. Opponents average 17.5 points per-game.

 

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

Rushing: Joshua Brown – 115 att., 792 yds., 12 TD

Passing: Jack Sompayrac – 145-236-6, 2,337 yds., 23 TD

Receiving: Dashon Bussell – 54 rec., 1,030 yds., 12 TD

Scoring: Dashon Bussell – 132 pts (22 TD’s)

Tackles: Jake Mahoney – 99     

Tackles for loss: Stiles Moore – 11

Sacks: Stiles Moore – 13

Interceptions: DJ Mitchell — 5

 

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS (Playoffs) Here are Catholic’s leaders in various individual categories during the playoffs:

Rushing: Joshua Brown – 51 att., 305 yds., 3 TD

Passing: Jack Sompayrac – 33-52-1, 509 yds., 5 TD

Receiving: Dashon Bussell – 14 rec., 278 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Dashon Bussell – 48 pts (8 TD’s)

Tackles: Jake Mahoney – 41     

Tackles for loss: Josh Brown, Stiles Moore – 3

Sacks: Jake Mahoney, Stiles Moore – 2

Interceptions: Cameron Blakely, Joshua Brown, Jake Mahoney, Cooper Mays, DJ Mitchell — 1

 

INTERCEPTIONS INTO TOUCHDOWNS – Catholic’s defense has collected 17 interceptions this season. Five have been returned for touchdowns.

 

ALL-PURPOSE MAN – Dashon Bussell has 2,030 all-purpose yards this season. The breakdown includes 1,030 receiving yards, 623 rushing yards, and 377 kickoff return yards.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS TOUCHDOWNS – The Irish have scored three special-teams touchdowns this season. DJ Mitchell had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown against Soddy-Daisy, while Dashon Bussell has kickoff returns for scores against Rhea County (90) and Campbell County (79).

 

MAKE IT QUICK – Catholic’s offense has had 24 scoring drives lasting less than one minute this season.  Ten of those scoring drives were of the one-play variety.

 

TURNOVER MARGIN – Catholic is plus-13 in turnover margin in 2017. The Irish have thrown seven interceptions and have lost 11 fumbles. Opponents have thrown 17 interceptions and have lost 14 fumbles.

 

PLAYERS OF NOTE

 

1- Dashon Bussell (WR/DB, 6-3, 180, Sr.): 3 att, 22 yds, 5 rec, 88 yds, 1 TD (24), 2 tackles, 1 PBU vs. Central…5 att, 5 yds, 5 rec, 63 yds, 1 TD (27), 2 tackles vs. Oak Ridge…6 att, 125 yds, 2 TD (48, 52), 2 rec, 73 yds, 1 TD (58), 3 tackles, 1 PBU vs. Fulton…3 att, 80 yds, 1 TD (58), 2 rec, 54 yds, 1 TD (47), 1 KOR, 79 yds (TD), 5 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Campbell County…4 att, 60 yds, 2 TD (34, 14), 3 rec, 33 yds, 3 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Lenoir City…1 att, 30 yds, 1 TD (30), 2 rec, 56 yds, 1 PBU vs. Walker Valley…1 att, 30 yds, 5 rec, 104 yds, 1 TD (9), 5 tackles vs. West Greene…3 att, 41 yds, 5 rec 98 yds, 1 TD (6), 8 tackles vs. Rhea County…1 att, 17 yds, 3 rec, 42 yds, 4 tackles vs. Brentwood Academy…5 att, 21 yds, 5 rec, 116 yds, 2 TD (58, 27) vs. Soddy-Daisy…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.): 5 tackles vs. Central…4 tackles vs. Oak Ridge…5 tackles vs. Fulton…7 att, 87 yds, 5-9-0, 217 yds, 3 TD (60, 47, 63), 4 tackles vs. Campbell County…6 att, 37 yds, 7-13-1, 110 yds, 2 TD (21, 25), 3 tackles vs. Lenoir City…1-1-0, 36 yds (TD), 7 tackles, 1 FR, 2 PBU, 1 INT vs. Walker Valley…2 tackles, 1 FR, 2 PBU, 1 INT vs. West Greene…10 tackles vs. Rhea County…7 tackles vs. Brentwood Academy…9 tackles vs. Soddy-Daisy…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.): 1 att, 0 yds, 1 rec, (-3) yds, 12 tackles, 1 FR, 1 PBU, 1 INT vs. Central…1 rec, 10 yds, 9 tackles vs. Oak Ridge…4 att, 31 yds, 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks vs. Fulton…1 att, 6 yds, 13 tackles vs. Campbell County…2 att, 22 yds, 3 tackles vs. Lenoir City…1 tackle vs. Walker Valley…1 att, 12 yds, 5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 FC vs. West Greene…11 tackles vs. Rhea County…7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU vs. Brentwood Academy…DNP vs. Soddy-Daisy…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.): 11 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack vs. Central…8 tackles, 1 FR vs. Oak Ridge…5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack vs. Fulton…2 tackles vs. Campbell County…5.5 tackles, 2.5 sacks vs. Lenoir City…4 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Walker Valley…7.5 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 PBU vs. West Greene…7 tackles vs. Rhea County…5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FR vs. Brentwood Academy…8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU vs. Soddy-Daisy…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.): 2 rec, 30 yds, 3 tackles, 1 FR vs. Central…4 rec, 82 yds, 1 TD (35), 6 tackles vs. Oak Ridge…1 rec, 35 yds, six tackles, 2 PBU vs. Fulton…2 rec, 103 yds, 1 TD (63), 3 tackles, 1 INT (44/TD) vs. Campbell County…3 rec, 73 yds, 2 TD (21, 25), 1 tackle vs. Lenoir City…3 rec, 73 yds, 2 TD (20, 41), 3 tackles vs. Walker Valley…3 rec, 64 yds, 1 TD (27), 3 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FC vs. West Greene…4 rec, 40 yds, 2 TD (3, 24), 2 tackles vs. Rhea County…5 rec, 53 yds, 1 TD (8), 9 tackles vs. Brentwood Academy…3 rec, 34 yds, 1 TD (14), 1 tackle vs. Soddy-Daisy…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.): 13 att, 58 yds, 2 TD (12, 7), 15-21-0, 204 yds, 2 TD (24, 31) vs. Central…12 att, 67 yds, 1 TD (7), 13-20-1, 177 yds, 2 TD (35, 27) vs. Oak Ridge…11 att, 62 yds, 5-11-0, 128 yds, 1 TD (58) vs. Fulton…DNP vs. Campbell County…0-1-0 vs. Lenoir City…6-7-0, 205 yds, 3 TD (20, 76, 41) vs. Walker Valley…5 att, 5 yds, 10-13-1, 209 yds, 2 TD (9, 27) vs. West Greene…12 att, 112 yds, 2 TD (12, 5), 13-16-0, 236 yds, 3 TD (6, 3, 24) vs. Rhea County…8 att, 5 yds, 12-21-2, 112 yds, 1 TD (8) vs. Brentwood Academy…7 att, 20 yds, 15-29-0, 279 yds, 4 TD (58, 27, 52, 14) vs. Soddy-Daisy…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.): 5 att, 23 yds, 9 tackles vs. Central…9 att, 30 yds, 1 TD (10), 7 tackles vs. Oak Ridge…12 att, 42 yds, 2 TD (1, 1), 4 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Fulton…4 att, 9 yds, 1 TD (1), 10 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FC vs. Campbell County…6 att, 42 yds, 1 TD (2), 2 tackles vs. Lenoir City…3 att, 53 yds, 1 TD (2), 5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU vs. West Greene…7 att, 45 yds, 1 rec, 13 yds, 9 tackles vs. Rhea County…8 att, 38 yds, 1 TD (10), 1 rec, 8 yds, 9 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Brentwood Academy…13 att, 89 yds, 1 TD (1), 9 tackles vs. Soddy-Daisy…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.): 2 att, 9 yds, 5 rec, 37 yds, vs. Central…1 att, 3 yds, 2 rec, 17 yds, 11 tackles, 1 FC, 4 PBU, 1 INT vs. Oak Ridge…5 tackles, 1 TFL vs. Fulton…1 rec, 60 yds (TD), 5 tackles, 2 PBU vs. Campbell County…1 att, 0 yds, 6 tackles, 1 INT vs. Lenoir City…1 rec, 76 yds (TD), 2 tackles vs. Walker Valley…1 att, 0 yds, 2 rec, 41 yds, 6 tackles vs. West Greene…2 att, 19 yds, 3.5 tackles, 0.5 sacks vs. Rhea County…3 att, 8 yds, 1 rec, 4 yds, 2 tackles vs. Brentwood Academy…3 att, 28 yds, 3 rec, 79 yds, 1 TD (52), 1 PR, 65 yds (TD), 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT vs. Soddy-Daisy…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…

 

31 – Joshua Brown (RB/LB, 6-3, 220, Sr.): 9 att, 67 yds, 1 TD (10), 1 rec, 21 yds, 4 tackles, 1 FC vs. Central…16 att, 63 yds, 1 TD (2), 11.5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 PBU vs. Oak Ridge…19 att, 142 yds, 1 TD (10), 2 rec, 20 yds, 1 FC vs. Fulton…7 att, 33 yds, 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT (14/TD) vs. Campbell County…10 att, 106 yds, 2 TD (2, 14), 5.5 tackles, 0.5 sacks vs. Lenoir City…1 att, 7 yds (TD), 1 tackle vs. Walker Valley…9 att, 64 yds, 1 TD (1) vs. West Greene…DNP vs. Rhea County, Brentwood Academy, Soddy-Daisy, 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, 2/2 FG (27, 26) vs. Central…5/5 XP vs. Oak Ridge… 5/6 XP, 1/1 FG (32) vs. Fulton…8/8 XP, 1/1 FG (26) vs. Campbell County…7/7 XP vs. Lenoir City…9/9 XP vs. Walker Valley…8/8 XP vs. West Greene…7/7 XP vs. Rhea County…2/2 XP vs. Brentwood Academy…7/7 XP vs. Soddy-Daisy…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…

 

GOLDEN TOE – Paxton Robertson made 65 consecutive extra-point attempts this season before suffering a blocked attempt against Fulton. According to the TSSAA record book, he now holds the record for the most consecutive extra points made in a single season. Before that miss, Robertson had made 90 consecutive extra points, which places him second on the career list. Here’s a look:

PLAYER SCHOOL CONS. MADE DATES

Jacob Noe Hillsboro 106 9/28/07-12/6/08

Paxton Robertson Catholic 90 9/30/16-11/10/17

100-YARD RUSHERS – Catholic has had seven 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

Joshua Brown Baylor 24-178-3

Jack Sompayrac Rhea County 12-112-2

Joshua Brown Lenoir City 10-106-2

Joshua Brown Fulton 19-142-1

Dashon Bussell Fulton 6-125-2

 

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

OPPONENT STATISTICS

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

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

Soddy-Daisy 15-29-0, 279 yds, 4 TD

Rhea County 10-13-0, 236 yds, 3 T

100-YARDS RECEIVING – Catholic has had four 100-yard receiving game this season. Here’s a look:
PLAYER OPPONENT REC-YDS-TD

Dashon Bussell Cleveland 5-110-2

Dason Bussell Soddy-Daisy 5-116-2

Dashon Bussell West Greene 4-104-1

Cameron Blakely Campbell County 2-103-1

 

DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLES – Catholic has had 15 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

Jake Mahoney Rhea County 11

Jack Jancek Rhea County 10

Jake Mahoney Campbell County 13

Xavier Story Campbell County 11

Joe Fluker Campbell County 10

Joshua Brown Oak Ridge 11.5

DJ Mitchell Oak Ridge 11

Jake Mahoney Central 12

Stiles Moore Central 11

 

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 RADIO – Tonight’s game is being broadcast on WOKI (Newstalk 98.7 FM). The game is also being streamed online at Newstalk987.com. John Wilkerson handles play-by-play, while former Catholic quarterback and 1999 Mr. Football winner Rob Demastus adds commentary.

 

ON TV – Tonight’s game is being broadcast on MyVLT-TV. Chip Walters calls the action, with Kelly Holcomb adding commentary. Murphy Fair provides sideline reports.

 

UP NEXT – The 2018 season.