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Cathedral headed to playoffs in third place

FLOWOOD — Cathedral High School got up early and used the second half to let the backups get experience in a 30-0 win against Hartfield Academy Friday.

The Green Wave finished the regular season 7-3 with a 6-3 record and a third-place finish in Region 4-1A. Even though his team ended the regular season on a high note, head coach Ron Rushing said he was ready to move on.

“I’m just glad it’s over with,” Rushing said. “We didn’t have a good week in practice, and we weren’t as sharp as I’d have wished.”

But Rushing was also high on his defense, as the Green Wave only gave up 72 yards of total offense.

“The defensive effort was great,” Rushing said.

Cathedral scored first on a 2-yard run by Brandt Pugh with 3:45 left in the first quarter. The PAT attempt failed, giving the Green Wave an early 6-0 lead.

Cathedral scored again on a 52-yard carry by Pugh with 19 seconds left in the first, and the two-point run by Kyle Bradley put the Green Wave on top 14-0.

In the second quarter, Parker Rymer caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Thomas Garrity with 8:40 to go. Dale Matheney hit the PAT, and the Green Wave led 21-0.

Matheney added another three points with a 28-yard field goal at the 2:19 mark before the half. Garrity scored the team’s final touchdown with 7:02 left in the third quarter. The PAT attempt failed, giving Cathedral a 30-0 lead.

Garrity led the team in passing, completing six of 16 passes for 114 yards. Backup Andrew Beesley was 3-for-6 with 27 yards.

Rushing said he was happy the backups got some playing time and valuable experience for later down the road.

“Everyone works hard,” Rushing said. “They all put in the same amount of time, and we would love for everyone to get in there. It’s just good for the younger guys to get experience and a taste of what it’s like.

“The only way to build a program is to let those guys play when you get the opportunity.”

Rushing said he was glad his team took care of business.

“We’ve had some injuries and things happen, but we’ve won five of our last six games,” Rushing said. “They know how to win.”

Cathedral will open the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs on the road next week.