Injuries, illness hurt Wave again

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; All you needed to do was look at the Cathedral sideline to see the number of players on crutches or in a jersey and jeans watching the game.

And there were others out sick.

In a season of injuries, illness and anything else that can go wrong, the epidemic may have reached a peak this week. It was the worst possible week for it to happen, the week the Green Wave was scheduled to take on the No. 1 team in the state in the Mize Bulldogs.

Email newsletter signup

And Mize is just as good as advertised. The Bulldogs left D’Evereux Stadium winners, 51-0.

&uot;Our kids played hard &045; they played about as hard as they can play,&uot; Cathedral head coach Ken Beesley Sr. said. &uot;Every time I turn around, it seems like we’re losing somebody. I was pleased with our offense. If we can run on their defense, that will help us down the road. It might not look like it, but we’re improving each week.&uot;

The Bulldogs are improving, too, but they are a level so much higher than Cathedral right now it’s not fair to compare the two or to compare Mize with just about anybody else in 1A.

The Bulldogs have enough size up front to move anyone off the ball and enough speed in the backfield to pop some long ones. Add the two together, and that’s why the Bulldogs are playing so well.

On the third play Jasper Ducksworth &045; who lit up the CHS defense last year for 221 yards &045; popped a 25-yard run for a touchdown.

&uot;We wanted to try to come out early and get something going,&uot; Mize head coach Kenny Robinson said. &uot;I was proud of how they played tonight. Jasper had a good game tonight, and he had about 100 yards. We had four or five people who scored, and we kind of spread it around to let everybody get a little bit of it.&uot;

The Bulldogs had that score at the start and kept pounding to do just what Cathedral didn’t want to happen &045; have Mize score a bunch of points early. The Green Wave had trouble in the first quarter moving the ball and was plagued by a couple bad punts that kept the Bulldogs in business.

Ducksworth took his next handoff 46 yard down to the Cathedral 5, and Travis Autry ran it in on the next play for a touchdown for a 14-0 lead.

&uot;He’s one of the better cut-back runners that I’ve seen,&uot; Beesley said the little Ducksworth, who had 107 yards on just four carries. &uot;The kid from Stringer last year was a lot like that, but he’s the best back in our region. Then their line does a good job of blocking. I just wished we could have been able to be a little bit quicker on some of their long runs.&uot;

Ducksworth didn’t have to touch it much after that &045; there were others to help out. Quarterback Tony Agee kept it on some bootlegs and got big-time yardage, including the first play of his team’s next drive when he took it 43 yards to the Cathedral 18.

That set up a Joseph Adcock field goal, but he did it again on the second play of the Mize’s next drive when he ran for 36 yards down the Cathedral 37. Three plays later he hit Eugene Sims on a 14-yard toucdown pass for a 24-0 lead with 11:31 left in the second.

&uot;We lost about eight players from last year,&uot; Robinson said. &uot;Four to graduation, two moved off and two that can’t play. But we’ve got a good group of kids who work hard. The coaches do a great job with them.&uot;

The Green Wave fell behind 37-0 at half and eventually 51-0 before putting together its best drive of the game. The Wave drove 75 yards on 11 plays down to the Mize 5, but Agee picked off a Patrick McDonough pass in the end zone.