Cathedral downs Wesson on emotional night

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 11, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Wyler Murray was the first to break out the Ziploc bag at midfield.

After he and the Green Wave pounded out a 7-4 win over Wesson Friday night that clinched a playoff berth, Murray scooped up some painted grass at midfield that was part of the giant &uot;2&uot; painted in honor of Bennett Jeansonne, the Green Wave sweeper who was killed in a hunting accident last month.

Soon others followed along with bags of their own as players paid tribute to the team’s top defensive player with a win in their first home game since his death.

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Others had his initials, BMJ, on their uniforms.

&uot;I felt like he was here,&uot; said Murray, who put in three goals with two coming in the second half. &uot;I know he wasn’t, but he was. The rest of my high school career he’ll be with us.&uot;

The team paid tribute to Jeansonne prior to the game with a small ceremony, and school officials retired his number and the ball he shot for a score &045; the only score of his career.

And just when things got tight &045; Wesson took a 3-2 lead with just over 27 minutes left &045; things really started to click following a little side pep talk to net a commanding win on a memorable night.

&uot;We just had to get through so much emotion,&uot; Cathedral head coach Rocky Kettering said. &uot;I had no idea which team would show up after that ceremony. We just played together in the second half. I called them over at midfield, and I yelled at them. This is our home field. I told them to play solid soccer, and we got three goals in the next 10 minutes.&uot;

The momentum started to shift after Wesson (4-6, 1-3) took the lead on a goal from Brad Brister from just inside the box. Three minutes later Wyler put in a shot that deflected off goalkeeper Tommy Crockett’s hands into the left corner of the goal to tie the score at 3-3.

The Green Wave (8-0, 4-0) then came up empty on two more shots on goal, and a goal from Nicholas Anderson in the 17th minute got erased when the line judge called him for offsides.

Less than a minute later Palmer Rinehart put in a goal on an assist from Pat Biglane at the 16:20 mark for a 4-3 lead. Two minutes later Wyler put in his third goal fro a 5-3 lead.

&uot;I think we realized what we had to do,&uot; Murray said. &uot;It was in Bennett’s honor. I think he helped us tonight. We came together and did what we had to do to clinch a playoff spot. We came together tonight.&uot;

The scoring didn’t stop there. Just over a minute later Rinehart tacked on another goal, this time on an assist from Blas Gaud, to take a 6-3 lead. Rinehart then followed up a shot from John Paul Kenda just before the 6:00 mark with a goal for the 7-3 lead.

&uot;Fatigue,&uot; Wesson coach Robert Alsbury said. &uot;We’ve got a couple guys who can play at a competitive level, but we ran out of gas. Natchez is well-coached and a highly skilled team. They were beating us to the ball constantly &045; 75-80 percent of the time instead of 50 percent.&uot;

&uot;We basically got tired in the second half,&uot; Wesson coach Stephen Berry said. &uot;We don’t have enough people. We’ve come a long way, though.&uot;

The Cobras started out stronger in the first half and scored the first goal of the game six minute in on a shot from Vince Rails. The Green Wave evened things up 12 minutes later on a shot from Kenda and took the lead at the 6:45 mark on Murray’s first goal.

The Green Wave out-shot Wesson in the first half 14-4 in the first half but had just a goal lead to show for it.

&uot;We’re a better team than we showed,&uot; Kettering said. &uot;I can’t say enough about their goalkeeper. That guy can stretch. I kept my starters in to play through it. They played through it, we won the game, we’re still undefeated and we’ve got the dreaded (St. Aloysius) Flashes tomorrow.&uot;

Lady Wave 2, Wesson 0

The Lady Wave put together one of its better defensive efforts of the season in

holding Wesson scoreless in the division win Friday.

The win keeps the Lady Wave (3-5, 2-2) in the hunt for a playoff spot.

&uot;That game was good, competitive soccer,&uot; Kettering said. &uot;It was a game our girls were capable of playing but they haven’t been able to get through all year.&uot;

The Lady Wave held a 1-0 lead for most of the second half until Jessica Matthews scored a goal at the 12:16 mark for the 2-0 lead. The Lady Cobras had just three shots on goal in the second half, and speedy forward Amber Bowman came up empty on a breakaway goal just past the halfway mark.

&uot;Those things happen,&uot; Alsbury said. &uot;It was a matter of depth. We were playing a lot of JV people tonight. The (player) carried off the field was an all-district player, and we had another all-district player out sick. We didn’t take advantage of the situations we had, they did. That happens sometimes.&uot;

Cathedral took the lead in the first half when Brittany Laird followed up a shot from Keely Ballard that goalkeeper Ashley Bankston couldn’t quite make a stop on.