Irish roll on Govs’ homecoming
By Grant Ramey | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nolan Coulter dug a hole William Blount couldn’t dig out of Friday night.
Coulter, Catholic’s senior running back, carried 15 times for 195 yards and three touchdowns as the Irish crashed the Governors’ homecoming at William Blount.
Sophomore wide receiver Joel Graham had a breakout night for WB, catching nine of quarterback Tim Green’s 10 completed passes for 109 yards. Green carried 19 times for 95 yards on the night. Lane Bloom carried eight times for 39 yards.
“We’ve been in this situation before, being down and out,” Green said. “But we still fight. We do what we can to try to get back in the game.”
Catholic rolled up 357 total rushing yards on 36 carries as a team.
“It’s nothing we weren’t prepared for,” Bloom said of the Catholic ground game. “We saw it all week in practice and everything we saw in practice we saw on the field.
“We just didn’t make the right adjustments and they came out here and hit us in the mouth.”
A Trace Fuller 6-yard touchdown run cut a 26-3 Catholic lead down to 26-10 late in the second quarter for William Blount. The Govs had a chance to cut into the lead even more early in the second half.
WB recovered a muffed punt on it’s first possession of the second half and drove into the red zone before stalling. Ryan Hodgson was wide right on a 27-yard field goal attempt that would’ve made it 26-13.
“I think we just get nervous,” Green said of WB’s red zone struggles, something that plagued the Govs’ in a 14-6 loss at Jefferson County last week. “When we get down there we just hesitate and don’t think about what we need to do to score.”
Catholic went 80 yards the other direction after the missed kick. Coulter covered the final 38 yards of the drive on a touchdown run that gave the Irish a 33-10 lead.
“It’s always difficult for an offense to play from behind,” Bloom said. “But it’s no excuse not to move the ball, or put the ball in when you’re in the end zone.”
Two quick Catholic touchdowns put WB on the wrong side of the scoreboard early.
The Irish needed just six plays — all runs — to go 71 yards for a 6-0 lead with just over two minutes of the first quarter clock. Coulter capped the game-opening drive with a 13-yard run for the score.
Green found Graham for an 18-yard gain over the middle on WB’s first offensive play from scrimmage but the Govs couldn’t sustain the momentum.
A bad snap ended up in a partially blocked punt. Catholic took over at the 30 and was in the end zone three plays later. Irish quarterback Tanner Sharp found Logan Lacey out of the back field for an 18-yard touchdown pass and a 12-0 lead after a failed two-point conversion.
Hodgson capped WB’s best drive of the night — nine plays, 65 yards — with a 27-yard field goal after penalties stalled the Govs’ in the red zone.
WB couldn’t stop Catholic, though.
The Irish run game pounded out another five-play, 80 yard drive to build the lead.
It was Coulter again, this time on a five-yard run, to give the Irish a 20-3 lead.
“An offense has to supply points for a defense to do their job just as well,” Bloom said. “We lost the game tonight on both sides of the ball.”