GOODY, Ky. – Hold on to your hats Pond Creek Nation, this week’s game may just be the competition the Pirates have been looking for.
After receiving information from the sports department of the Knoxville Sentinel a clearer picture is provided of the team that Belfry will face this Friday night. Reports were made clear that last year Knoxville Catholic rolled into CAM Stadium with a fragmented team that were missing a few key players and had one player that had just rejoined the offense. That report can be backed up easily with the Fighting Irish’s success after the Belfry game last season. They went on to win a state championship. But the Pirates did as well.
Looking into both rosters it’s no wonder the cable stations were reportedly prepared to pick up the game. Even reports that ESPN planned on picking up the game were heard floating through the bleacher at CAM Stadium, we have no such confirmation at this time. The reason for the broad exposure is the talent that will be showcased during the game. The Fighting Irish have 3-4 players receiving Division 1 attention and the Pirates have four offensive linemen who have either committed or are being scouted by Division 1 programs.
The big names that were provided are Cade Mays, a 6-foot-6 300 lbs. tackle and defensive end who has received plenty of interest from the University of Tennessee, and 5-foot-10 190 lbs. WR and CB Amari Rodgers who has gained the attention of Clemson University. Rodgers has already accumulated 10 TD’s this season through four games and brings over 700-yards receiving as well.
The general overlook of the Fighting Irish is that they are a pass dominant team but have plenty of run power as well with Jeffery Wood working as the power house runner and flash runner. The spread offense works well for them with Rodgers on one side and Chase Kuerschen on the other. Chase Cunningham runs the offense from the QB position and brings over 1,400-yards passing and 14 TD’s with him to the game that has been accumulated through four games.
The unofficial record of the Fighting Irish is 5-0 right now with an official record of 4-1. That one loss of the season comes from game number one where they were forced to forfeit for having an ineligible player either on the field or in uniform. Not many details are available on that particular event but without that game counting the Fighting Irish sported a 14 game win streak, which began after the loss to the Pirates last year.
In Knoxville Catholic’s recent game they defeated defending Class-AAA champion Knoxville Fulton 69-42. This goes to say, they are fast operating team that likes to score quickly and often. However, before the fear sets into the hearts of Pirate fans, both young and old, about whether this team may just be much improved from last year’s contest the thought should occur that Belfry faced another team last season with exactly the same pedigree, Lexington Catholic.
Last year during the Class-AAA state championship game Lexington Catholic entered the game with a high flying reputation as well and the Pirates defended the pass easily. This year could be different but the real question that should be asked is can the Fighting Irish fight through Belfry’s proven smash mouth reputation as a very hard hitting team. The Pirates may face a high scoring team, that actually set a state record during their last game with 749-yards of total offense during the game, but that wasn’t against the Pirates.
Here is a report on Knoxville Catholic’s stats so far this season:
TEAM STATS – Catholic averages 502.0 yards per-game in total offense, including 157.2 yards on the ground and 344.8 yards through the air. Defensively, Catholic allows 272.2 yards per-game, including 85.2 yards on the ground and 187.0 yards through the air. Catholic averages 56.0 points per-game. Opponents average 20.0 points per-game.
Here is a breakdown of the individual leaders for the Fighting Irish:
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS – Here are Catholic’s leaders in various individual categories:
Rushing: Jeffery Wood – 46 att., 293 yds., 6 TD
Passing: Chase Cunningham – 77-120-1 1,707 yds., 18 TD
Receiving: Chase Kuerschen – 27 rec., 650 yds., 7 TD
Scoring: Amari Rodgers – 60 pts (10 TD’s)
Tackles: Tony Scott – 40
Tackles for loss: Joe Fluker – 9
Sacks: Tony Scott – 3
Interceptions: Chase Kuerschen, Jeffery Wood – 3
Below is some other useful information that Pond Creek Nation may find interesting:
CAREER NUMBERS – Three Irish players are accumulating impressive career numbers. Chase Cunningham has 4,438 career passing yards. Chase Kuerschen has 2,975 career receiving yards, and Amari Rodgers has 2,698 career receiving yards.
MAKE IT QUICK – Catholic’s offense has had 11 scoring drives lasting less than one minute this season. Four of those scoring drives were of the one-play variety.
THE LAST GO ‘ROUND – Catholic’s 2016 roster includes 18 seniors. Included are Amari Rodgers (WR/DB), Jeffery Wood (RB/DB), Hunter Kountz (RB/DB), Nick Lovely (QB/LB), Chase Cunningham (QB/DB), Tony Scott (WR/LB), Baxter Bryan (RB/DB), Chase Kuerschen (WR/DB), Lucky Depersio (RB/LB), Beau Hollin (WR/LB), Andrew Henderson (OL/DL), Jonathan LeBlanc (OL, LB), Jake Coffey (OL, LB), Diego Carvajal (OL/DL), Charlie Connors (OL/DL), Joseph Healy (OL/DL), Josh Sanger (OL/DL), and John Kerbyson (OL/DL).
The game will take place at Blaine Stadium at 7:30 p.m. this Friday night September, 23. 2016. in Knoxville.