In a game that lived up every bit to the preseason hype, the Fighting Irish of Knoxville Catholic handled the Eagles by a final score of 49-24.
The Irish controlled the game from the onset, scoring on their first two possessions of the game before the Eagles would answer with a score of their own. When the dust settled after the first half, the hosts held a 28-10 advantage that included a Dashon Bussell kick return for a touchdown.
On the opening play of the third quarter, Eagle junior safety and kickoff returner Aulbrey Smith, sparked by key blocks from his fellow return team members, took the kick more than 90 yards to the house for the first special teams touchdown by the Eagles this season and Smith’s first touchdown as a varsity Eagle.
For the Eagles, Christian Simon and Brandon Hunt each scored a rushing touchdown with Haden “Chigger” Frashier adding a 38-yard field goal. Frashier was also a perfect 3-3 on PAT attempts.
The Irish, now 4-3 on the season and 2-0 in region play, now own possession of the lead in Region 4-5A heading into the final stretch of the 2017 season. Catholic has a game at Walker Valley and a home game with Lenoir City to round out their region schedule.
The Eagles move to 3-4 and 2-1 in the region with a tussle with Soddy-Daisy in two weeks being the final region game left on Rhea County’s slate.
Region 4-5A Standings
1. Knoxville Catholic (2-0)
2. Rhea County (2-1)
3. Lenoir City (2-1)
4. Soddy-Daisy (0-2)
5. Walker Valley (0-2)