Friday Night Preview: Catholic at William Blount

When: Friday

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Records: William Blount (2-2, 0-1), Catholic (3-0, 1-0)

Previous meeting: Rain and a sloppy playing field did little to mask the charged atmosphere surrounding last season’s 24-6 win by the Irish. Offseason issues and facing their former coach, Irish skipper Scott Meadows, fueled the Governors enough to remain within 7-6 after three quarters. A late fumble helped put it out of reach for William Blount.

Last week: The Governors didn’t allow Jefferson County to cross the 50-yard line in the second half of William Blount’s 18-15, come-from-behind win. Governor quarterback Zach Witt finished 10-of-16 passing for 170 yards and a touchdown pass to Hunter Saunders. A Grayson Beason field goal and Greg Cook 11-yard run capped the scoring for the Governors.

The Irish turned the ball over three times en route to surviving a scare from Austin-East, 20-12, last week. The Roadrunners reached the Catholic 6-yard line before the Irish got the stop on the game’s final drive. Catholic quarterback and Division I prospect Mike Wegzyn was 7-of-13 passing for 128 yards and touchdown.

Keep an eye on: The William Blount run defense. The Irish, at last count, had four linemen with Division I offers. With that kind of muscle, coupled with the Governors playing a lot of youth up front, look for Catholic to try to pound the ball at William Blount, Wegzyn’s golden arm withstanding. The Governors have a ground game capable of a big night. Junior Greg Cook could use a real statement game. Backfield mates Dalton Wheeler and Lane Bloom have game-breaking speed if the Governor line can spring them. As good as Witt was with his arm a week ago, he’s even better with his legs. Receivers Jesse Crisp and Hunter Saunders are wildcards for William Blount. If the Governors pull the shocker against the state’s No. 1-ranked Class 5A team, Saunders and Crisp will have a lot to say about it.

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