Cathedral wins with ground game

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 11, 1999

The Cathedral Green Wave rode the shoulders of Ja’Mel Jackson enroute to a 27-6 drubbing of Richland Friday night.

Running is always a key part to the Green Wave attack. After Cathedral received a crushing blow last week when Casey Rodgers was sidelined for the year with a knee injury. Rodger’s teammates wore his number 34 taped to their helmets.

Enter Ja’Mel Jackson.

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Jackson entered the game expecting to share the running back duties with Mark Steckler. But when Steckler left the game with a shoulder injury, Jackson was forced to step up – especially since the Wave’s passing attack could only net 38 total yards.

Cathedral head coach Ken Beesley was impressed with Jackson’s running.

&uot;I thought he did a good job running the ball,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;Of course, you have to give the offensive line credit for opening up the holes.&uot;

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Jackson ran tough in the middle and hard around the ends. By the end of the game, he accounted for 138 yards on 22 carries for two touchdowns.

Both teams battled through a scoreless first quarter.

&uot;The first couple of times we had the ball we were driving the ball,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;We stopped our drives with penalties and mistakes.&uot;

In the second quarter, Jackson got the offense cranked up with a 45-yard run to set up the first score. And finished up the drive scoring the first touchdown on a two-yard, off-tackle sweep.

A roughing the passer call on Richland kept a Cathedral drive going and culminated with a one-yard Jackson score. Stephen Edwards hit Willie Clark on a fake PAT attempt to bring the score to 14-0.

In the second quarter, Richland quarterback Eric Stringer tried to hit Cory Holder, but the ball bounced off Holder and Conor Gibson intercepted the pass and running it in 36-yards. Edwards ended the Green Wave scoring with a scramble around end to stretch the Cathedral lead to 27-0.

Richland started to mount drives but were killed by mistakes or penalties. Toward the end of the game, the Cathedral starting defense was pulled.

Richland scored with 35 seconds left in the game to avoid the shutout.

&uot;I was proud of the way we were able to move the ball in the first half,&uot; Beesley said.

Conor Gibson led the Wave on defense with 12 tackles and one interceptions.