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Cathedral swaps bye week for tough Oak Forest match

NATCHEZ — A break in divisional play doesn’t mean things will be any easier for Cathedral High School this week.

Before the season began, Cathedral moved its game with Bogue Chitto High School, originally scheduled for today, to earlier in the season. That left the Green Wave with an opportunity for a bye week, but head coach Ron Rushing said he’d rather his team sees game action.

So Rushing called Oak Forest Academy head coach Jason Brabham and arranged for his team to play the Yellow Jackets (5-3, 3-0), an MAIS Class AAA school.

“The MHSAA let us play 12 games this season, and I would rather play than not do anything,” Rushing said. “I didn’t want to go into Salem with an open week.”

While Cathedral (6-2, 4-2) may have been looking ahead to Salem when it made the schedule, Rushing said the Yellow Jackets would prove to be a tough test for his players.

“They’re deep in tradition and have a very good football program,” Rushing said. “I thought playing them could get us ready for Salem.”

Though Salem and Oak Forest run different offenses, Rushing said both teams like to run the ball and play a physical style of football.

“The schedule has hurt us in the past going into the playoffs, which is why I wanted us to play this kind of team, because these are the kids on teams that have hurt us in the past,” Rushing said. “I think the more you see it, the more it prepares you for that type of game, and anytime you play better competition, you get better.”

The key to winning against a run-oriented team is to not let them keep the ball out of the Cathedral offense’s hands, Rushing said.

“We’re going to have to get some stops and score some point,” Rushing said.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. today.