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Cathedral falls to Pelahatchie 51-40

Cathedral School’s Kyle Bradley attempts to avoid Pelahatchie High School’s Desmond Magee in the Green Wave’s 51-40 loss Friday night. (Jody Upton \ Special to the Democrat)

PELAHATCHIE — It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

And unfortunately for Cathedral High School, the finish wasn’t quite as good as the start.

After jumping up to an early 27-6 lead, the Green Wave saw Pelahatchie High School come back and take over the second half in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A playoffs. Cathedral went on to be outscored 37-13 in the second half en route to a 51-40 loss.

“I think we only had the ball really about three or four possessions (in the second half),” Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing said.

“Some of it was impatient playcalling on my part. There are a couple of plays I would like to have back. I’ll probably second-guess myself all offseason.”

It was big plays that got the Green Wave rolling and big plays that eventually did them in. Parker Rymer opened the game with a 92-yard touchdown reception to put Cathedral ahead 7-0 with 10:47 left.

Pelahatchie responded with a 5-yard touchdown run by Cortez Ousley with 5:47 left in the first, but the two-point run failed, and the Chiefs trailed 7-6.

Cathedral then scored 20 unanswered points. Quarterback Thomas Garrity connected with Kyle Bradley for an 8-yard touchdown pass at the 4:15 mark in the first, then hit Bradley again with a 66-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in the quarter.

And Bradley still wasn’t done, as he pulled in a 64-yard touchdown reception to put the Green Wave ahead 27-7.

But Pelahatchie began its comeback bid with a 64-yard touchdown run by Keldrick Sullivan with 4:10 to go before intermission. Ousley ran in the two-point conversion, cutting Cathedral’s lead to 27-14 at the half.

In the third quarter, Ousley ran 64 yards for a touchdown with 6:05 left, and Sullivan added a 45-yard scoring run at the 4:24 mark. The Chiefs scored on both two-point attempts, taking a 30-27 lead.

Cathedral jumped back in front on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Garrity to Bradley, putting the Green Wave ahead 34-30 with 2:22 left in the third.

But Pelahatchie took the lead for good with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Two came on runs of 8 and 3 yards by Ousley, and one came on a 28-yard carry by Sullivan.

Cathedral scored its final touchdown of the game with 12 seconds left in regulation on a 6-yard catch by Josh Wilkerson.

“They were just big and strong up front,” Rushing said of the Chiefs’ big plays in the running game. “We were in the right places a lot of times, we just missed tackles, and they were falling forward and getting 2 to 3 extra yards. They got in there and moved the chains.”

Garrity finished the night going 15-for-28 in passing for 415 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. Bradley had 7 catches for 222 yards, and Parker Rymer tallied 3 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. The Green Wave only had 27 yards rushing.

Defensively, Matthew Rymer had 12 tackles and 15 assists. Peyton Jenkins added five tackles and 10 assists.

Cathedral finished the season 7-4, and Rushing said he was proud of how his team handled adversity throughout the year.

“They didn’t hang their heads and make excuses when we had some guys get hurt early (in the year),” Rushing said. “They went out and did what they had to do to win ball games.”

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