CHS shuts out St. Al 21-0Published 1:12am Saturday, September 29, 2012
By Jeff Byrd
The Vicksburg Post
VICKSBURG — Cathedral’s defense called the shots Friday night, holding rival St. Aloysius to less than two yards per play.
Cathedral broke a two-game losing streak with a 21-0 victory. The Flashes ran 48 plays and gained just 74 yards, which works out to an average 1.24 yards per play.
Cathedral coach Ron Rushing credited his team’s moxie after losing its top three skilled players over the last two games, including standout running back Khalil Brice with a knee injury.
“We had to rearrange some things after all the injuries,” Rushing said. “We’ve played pretty good on defense all year so we went to more of a power game to help them. The kids played extremely well.”
St. Al coach B.J. Smithhart took notice of the lack of offensive punch as his team fell to 1-5 on the season and 1-3 in Region 4-1A play.
“We just didn’t have an offensive identity tonight,” Smithhart said. “When you can’t even run base plays it’s tough. The kids played hard. I thought the defense did a good job to hold them to 21 points. We’ve just got to be able to do something with the football.”
St. Al’s longest play of the game came on a 13-yard run off the jet sweep by DeMichael Harris on the second offensive series. They had one offensive series reach inside the Cathedral red zone at the 19, but a fourth down run by Will Pierce was dropped for a two-yard loss. St. Al never threatened again.
“The fourth-and-one we didn’t make was the difference,” Smithhart said.
Cathedral (3-2, 2-2) got the turnover on downs with nine minutes left in the second quarter and then later extended its lead right before halftime. A 31-yard punt return by Kyle Bradley set up the Green Wave at the St. Al 32 with 1:23 left.
One play later, quarterback Tyler Stockstill, who started in place of the injured Thomas Garrity, tossed a play-action pass 32 yards to Josh Wilkerson for the touchdown. Dale Matheney’s extra point made it 14-0.
A nine play drive to start the second half stalled at mid-field for the Flashes. Blake Hudson’s punt to the 3 appeared to have the Green Wave pinned but a 12-yard return and a 15-yard roughing penalty got Cathedral out of a hole.
They were able to control the game from that point with the power run game. Bradley scored on a 21-yard run to cap a 78-yard drive with 10:41 left and Matheney’s kick finished the scoring at 21-0.
Linebacker Matthew Rymer was a key contributor for Cathedral. He got to play fullback and helped the Green Wave pile up 180 rushing yards. He also lent a hand with the game’s first score on a 29-yard run in the first quarter.
“I usually play on defense all the time, so it was good to get some carries,” Rymer said. “I scored on a fullback trap.”
St. Al was led by Elliot Bexley with 29 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Connor Smith ran 13 times but was held to minus two yards rushing. He was also 5-of-12 passing for 26 yards.