CHS close, but escapes
MOUNT OLIVE — With as much tradition as Mount Olive High School has, Cathedral High School head coach Ron Rushing said he was just happy to escape with a win.
And escape they did, as the Green Wave edged the Pirates 13-12 Friday night in a game that Rushing called sloppy.
Cathedral tallied 260 yards on the ground while limiting Mount Olive (1-3, 1-4) to 140 yards of total offense, but turnovers at inopportune times kept things close.
“We moved the ball up and down the field, but we turned it over and had critical errors,” Rushing said. “We could have easily been ahead 28-6 at the half. Overall, the kids hung together and fought through everything. When it was on the line, we pulled together and made plays.”
Christian Jenkins led Cathedral in rushing with 209 yards and two touchdowns. The Green Wave had three fumbles — all of which they lost — and an interception on the night.
Tyler Stockstill and Thomas Garrity split time at quarterback, with Stockstill going 2-for-4 with 20 yards and a touchdown, and Garrity going 2-for-5 with 40 yards.
Cathedral made it 7-0 with 5:25 left in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Jenkins. Mount Olive cut Cathedral’s lead to 7-6 at the half when Zaniel Chapman had a 99-yard fumble return with 3:48 to go before intermission.
Mount Olive went up 12-7 with 6:51 left in the third when Zarrick Jenkins scored on an 11-yard carry. Jenkins gave Cathedral the lead with 2:24 left in the fourth on a 10-yard run, but the two-point run attempt was no good, making it a one-point ball game.
It was another game in which the Green Wave struggled to capitalize on scoring opportunities, and Rushing said he wasn’t quite sure what the problem was.
“At times we have three freshmen and four sophomores on the field, so some of it might be youth,” Rushing said. “We lost five skill guys last year, so some of it might be inexperience. We’re getting better, and the guys are starting to make plays, The effort’s been there all year, and I think the experience gained will hopefully take over sometime.”
Cathedral (4-2, 3-2) will host Bogue Chitto at home next week. The Bobcats entered Friday ranked the No. 1 team in MHSAA Class 1A by the Associated Press. Even with the big game next Friday, Rushing said he’s just taking things one game at a time.
“If you can’t be happy with a win at (Mount Olive’s) place, something’s wrong with you,” Rushing said.