° empty

Trinity, Cathedral have strong showing

We’re now less than a week away.

Friday night marks the start of high school football season in Mississippi. In a few more weeks, Louisiana will join the fray.

Friday nights in the fall are some of the most enjoyable — and the most hectic — for The Democrat and, we know, many of you too. The Miss-Lou never has a shortage of big games going on each week, and we enjoy rounding them all up from the opening kickoff in August until the final whistle in November.

So when I was covering jamboree games at Cathedral School Friday night, it was just another sign that it’s that time of the year.

Trinity Episcopal opened things up at the Cathedral football jamboree against the Green Wave’s heated rival St. Aloysius. And both Green Wave and Saints fans alike probably enjoyed the results, as Trinity steamrolled the Flashes 44-7.

One big thing that stood out to me as I observed the Saints handle St. Al with relative ease was that Trinity still has the ability to put a lot of points on the board. A high-scoring offense was what the Saints were known for most last season, but a number of seniors from that team graduated in the spring. Both Kent King and Givonni Dent, The Democrat’s All-Metro co-players of the year for football in 2010, have since moved on.

But Friday night, the Saints showed they still have guys who can score on a moment’s notice — and that’s just what they did. All-purpose athlete Tip McKenzie showed why a number of Division-I colleges have been recruiting him, scoring two touchdowns on 10-yard carry and an 82-yard punt return.

Tanner Cage, who I suspect will have more of a role in Trinity’s offense this fall, had a 66-yard touchdown reception. Running backs Daniel Dunaway, Caleb Gillespie and Caleb Cross all had runs for touchdowns. Jake Winston even joined in on the fun with a 41-yard field goal.

Cathedral, meanwhile, also showed that it had no shortage of weapons in its arsenal. Led by quarterback Caleb Upton, the Green Wave tallied 245 yards passing in a 42-14 blowout of West Lincoln in their jamboree matchup.

After missing his first four passes on the night, Upton settled down and hit Khalil Brice twice and Carl Hammitte once on touchdown passes to give Cathedral a 21-0 lead going into the second quarter of play.

When Cathedral returned from intermission, backup Thomas Garrity took over at quarterback. Garrity was just 2-for-4 in passing, but the two catches were touchdown receptions by Ishmael Blackmon, who also had three interceptions on the night. Garrity scored the Green Wave’s final touchdown with a 13-yard carry.

It was hard not to be impressed with Cathedral’s huge turnaround in football last season, but this year’s team has the chance to be even better. With another year of strength and conditioning under their belts, this veteran Cathedral team seems poised to make a push in the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs. But with nine divisional opponents this fall, the Green Wave must take a one-week-at-a-time approach before they even start thinking about the postseason.

In one more week, we’ll see how these jamboree performances translate to regular-season games.