Dramatics give CHS win

Published 1:45 am Saturday, September 8, 2007

NATCHEZ — Preston Edwards’ 2-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Fondren with two seconds left in the game capped off a game-winning 45-yard drive as the Cathedral Green Wave defeated the Salem Wildcats 33-30 Friday night in a Region 4-1A game.

Salem scored two touchdowns in a two minute and 13 second span midway through the fourth quarter to turn a 23-17 deficit into a 30-23 lead with five minutes remaining in the game. It looked the Wildcats would leave D’Evereaux Stadium with the win until Edwards connected with Fondren.

“They match up with us about the same,” Cathedral head coach Craig Beesley said. “They came back and took the lead. We had a big drive at the end of the game. We converted on a fourth and one.”

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The key play of the game was when Blasé Bradford picked off a pass by Salem quarterback Garrett Murphy and returned it 92 yards for a touchdown to put Cathedral up 20-10.

But Salem running back Shannon Ratliff did his part to help the Wildcats get back in the game and eventually take the lead. His 22-yard touchdown run with 4:12 left in the third quarter made it a 20-16 game. Then his 48-yard touchdown run at the 5:00 mark of the fourth quarter gave them the lead.

“With the weather, I didn’t expect as much scoring,” Beesley said. “They have a good running back. I thought we would do a better job containing him.”

Ratliff finished with 11 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Murphy, however, hurt Salem’s offense by throwing four interceptions, two to Bradford and two to Fondren.

The Edwards-to-Fondren duo worked quite well for Cathedral. Fondren caught nine passes for 129 yards and three touchdowns. The first two helped give the Green Wave a 13-2 lead early in the second quarter.

Edwards completed 15 of 28 passes for 177 yards and, more importantly, no interceptions. Salem actually out-gained Cathedral 410 to 272, thanks mainly to its running game that racked up 283 yards.