Cathedral dealing with defeat for first time

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

You knew it had to come. Even a blind person knows things were going almost too right for Cathedral and its new offense through three games this season.

Not that anyone wished it upon the Green Wave, but the world of high school football has more ups and downs than the Dow Jones.

And the Green Wave finally experienced some of that Friday night in its 28-14 loss to Mize. It wasn’t for lack of effort or mistakes &045; the Wave had no turnovers and just one penalty (coming with less than a minute left in the game, no less).

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Mize’s defense had eight men back in pass coverage, so do the math. Eight covering three to five receivers makes it awfully hard.

&uot;They’re a little bit down, but they’ll be all right by Monday,&uot; Cathedral head coach Ken Beesley Sr. said.&160;&uot;We’ve got some kids that play hard. They’ll be all right. We came back, held them and had another shot before the game was over. They’ll fight to the end. Sometimes when you’re out-manned, you’re out-manned.&uot;

Give Mize credit &045; the Bulldogs provided a strong pass rush with just the three down linemen and provided tight coverage on the short screen passes the Green Wave had been successful with in its first three games.

It’s those little passes that Beesley described as merely long handoffs, and Turner Smith either couldn’t hit a target or the receiver was tackled shortly after catching the ball.

&uot;We put it on our defense because we went three and out,&uot; Smith said. &uot;They got tired because they were out there all night. We couldn’t get (Mize) off our backs, but we’ll bounce back.&uot;

Those three down linemen made things awfully tough, too, as Smith sat in the pocket trying to find a target.

&uot;No. 32 hurt us on the line of scrimmage,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;We had to throw over him or around him, and that gave us problems. I don’t think we’ll see a better defensive team than what we saw tonight.&uot;

THAT LITTLE DUCKSWORTH &045; We had to ask the coaches after the game how tall Jasper Ducksworth is, and the program didn’t list his weight, either.

Only a sophomore, the little Mize running back can’t be over 150 pounds. But he was a ton of trouble for the Green Wave, just as he’s been for opponents earlier this season.

Ducksworth scored the first time he touched the ball and finished the game with 221 of Mize’ 315 yards total offense.

&uot;His team did a good job of stopping people, but he got a lot on his own,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;He’s got good vision. If you don’t hit him and wrap him up, he won’t go down.

There were some times when we stuck him.&uot;

Ducksworth, however, is part of a Mize team that you’ll hear of in the future. Only a sophomore, he’s part of a squad that has just four seniors and a load of sophomores and juniors.

Oh, and he’s got a couple younger brothers, too.

&uot;He’s been a good one for us this year,&uot;&160;Mize head coach Kenny Robinson said. &uot;He’s going to get bigger and better as he grows. He’s got great vision and great balance. He can cut on a dime. I’ve had some good backs, but he’s got the best vision and best cutting ability about as anybody I’ve had.&uot;

INJURY REPORT &045; The Green Wave suffered a loss on its second play when Michael Blain went down with a broken ankle. Coaches after the game said it was a small break that may keep him out four weeks.

That left Eric Lee lining up at receiver, and he had to sit out late in the game with cramps.

&uot;When Michael Blain went down early, that hurt us,&uot;&160;Beesley said.&160;&uot;He’s one of our top receivers, and the other kids did a good job, but they don’t know the routes. We don’t have any depth as it is. This was the first game we really had to go both ways for a full game.&uot;

EXTRA MOTIVATION &045; Jefferson County’s Tigers went into its contest with Wilkinson County without a key starter and kept him in the back of their mind in their 18-6 win over the Wildcats Friday.

Anthony Chambliss went down in the Tigers’ loss to Amite County Sept. 19 and was placed in intensive care with internal bleeding. Jefferson County head coach Jeffrey Harness declined to elaborate on the seriousness of his injury but noted it was very serious.

Chambliss, a 5-9, 145-pound senior, plays receiver and cornerback for the Tigers but may be out for the year. It has now been determined that Chambliss has some form of cancer.

&uot;He’s a real good, special player,&uot; Harness said. &uot;I’ve been coaching him from the junior high on up. I don’t think I’ve ever coached a game without him on the field. He’s the kind of kid that goes both ways every down and won’t complain. We’re going to

miss him, but we’re going to move on and try to play well.&uot;

SCARY MOMENT &045; The stands and sidelines at Jackson’s Hillcrest Christian School were anxious and quiet during the first quarter of the matchup between the Cougars and Adams County Christian School.

Rebel offensive lineman Zach Jones was motionless on the field ater suffering a neck injury, which prompted an ambulance to bring Jones off the field. The happening was more tense since Jones’ injury occurred two plays after Cole Bradford left the game with a serious knee injury, which will keep him out of this week’s game and possibly more depending on today’s MRI.

&uot;Zach’s OK, though. He was walking the sidelines with a couple minutes left in the game,&uot; AC head coach Keith Walters said. &uot;Those were two pretty big losses for us. We’re going to need players to step up for us.&uot;