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Injured star still leads Green Wave

NATCHEZ — Khalil Brice might not be able to take the field for the Cathedral School football team, but the success of the team still remains a top priority for the injured senior.

Brice has not played since Cathedral’s 35-14 loss to Stringer on Sept. 14, but he said the team’s success has made him forget about his misfortune.

“At first it hit me real hard, and I broke down at the hospital,” Brice said. “But I watched (my teammates) come out, and they are still playing hard, and I’m not even sad anymore. They have really excelled through the adversity. They came out and didn’t lose a step.”

Cathedral had its back against the wall for the last few weeks of the regular season, but three straight wins qualified the team for the playoffs.

“It felt great (to make the playoffs),” Brice said. “At the start of the season, that was the first goal — to make the playoffs. You can’t win state, without making the playoffs, and hopefully we can keep it rolling.”

The Green Wave will face Pelahatchie High School in the opening round Friday, and head coach Ron Rushing said playing under a great deal of pressure at the end of the season would help his team in the postseason.

“The last three weeks have been like the playoffs,” Rushing said. “They have all been must-win games, and the team has responded well.”

Brice, who played a key role in Cathedral’s run to the South State title game last season, will remain on the sidelines Friday. But the Green Wave still has plenty of athletes who have made deep runs in the postseason.

“These guys have been through this a lot in the past two seasons,” Rushing said. “They are seasoned.”

Pelahatchie will challenge Cathedral’s defense with a strong running game, Rushing said. The Chiefs run the ball nearly every down, and are a very physical team.

The Green Wave will have to travel to Pelahatchie, but Rushing said going on the road should not be an issue for his team.

If Cathedral can get a victory at Pelahatchie, the team would have the opportunity to host games in the next two rounds, Rushing said.

One more home game would be special for Brice, he said.

“If we can win this one, we can come back home in front of our home crowd,” he said. “I love playing at home.”

Cathedral (7-3) and Pelahatchie (9-2) will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday.