PULASKI, Tenn. — Giles County entered the game as the state's top-ranked Class 4A high school football team. and Notre Dame did nothing to dispel that notion.
The host Bobcats won 47-7, jumping to a 20-7 first-quarter lead on an interception and a fumble recovery and breaking to a 33-7 halftime marginwhen a blocked punt led to an Al Cobb touchdown pass with 29 seconds left in the second quarter.
Cameron Ordway returned an Alex Darras pass 31 yards on the Irish's first play from scrimmage. Then on their next series after picking up a first down, Notre Dame fumbled and the Bobcats capitalized.
"We had talked watching film, we had talked about that so much, teams giving them points on turnovers or letting them operate from a short field," Irish coach Charles Fant said. "And here we are with two turnovers in our first three offensive plays."
The 12-0 Bobcats, who will host East Hamilton (11-1) next week, shouldn't be sold short. With Walker and a handful of receivers, they're good at what they do.
Walker entered the game with 27 TD passes and 2,303 passing yards and went over the 2,500-yard mark with 31 touchdown tosses.
"They're good. They played like a No. 1 team, but we gave them so many points," Fant said.
At halftime, he and his staff did some quick figuring. The Irish actually rushed for more than 200 first-quarter yards but had half of it eclipsed by holding penalties.
"You get to this point you have to be great in all facets of the game," Fant said. "It's something for us to work on."
For all the hoopla surrounding the Bobcats' passing game, running back Nieco Walker rushed for two of the first three scores. He finished with eight carries for 71 yards.
Notre Dame's lone score came in the first period, a 13-yard run by Kareem Orr.
But then it was Cobb's show, and he went short and deep in the second and third quarters with TD tosses to Tyrell Reed, Kenton Baker, Nieco Walker and Darren May before heading to the sideline in the third quarter.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...