Cathedral to take on one of top teams in Class 1A

Published 12:13 am Thursday, October 2, 2008

NATCHEZ — After two consecutive disappointments, Cathedral is ready to get back to its winning ways Friday.

But the Green Wave will have a tough test on the road at Region 4-1A Mt. Olive, a team with four wins under its belt.

“We know they’re one of top teams in 1A,” Cathedral coach Craig Beesley said of the Pirates. “They have a lot of athletic ability — they’re real fast, real athletic.”

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Beesley’s Green Wave dropped a heartbreaker in the last seconds two weeks ago against St. Aloysius and was blown out this past Friday by Bogue Chitto, who scored twice before Cathedral’s offense could even get onto the field.

He said his team never could regain its composure after seeing 14 Bogue Chitto points go up so quickly.

So this week, Beesley is looking for the team he saw at the start of the season.

Click the following link for the Democrat Sports Watch’s preview of the Oct. 3, 2008 prep football games, featuring Huntington, Trinity and Vidalia. Watch Democrat Sports Watch now.

“I don’t think we played with the same intensity that we played the first four games with,” he said. We really stressed that with these kids this week, that they need to come out with a lot of intensity.”

That will be particularly important, he said, against a team that has a very versatile offense.

They run out of a spread formation offensively, and they have a lot of motion in that spread set,” Beesley said. “So we’re going to have to be able to defend the pass and the run.”

The past two weeks, Cathedral has had to control one aspect or the other of the opponent’s offense. While the Green Wave did a good job containing St. Aloysius on the ground, the Flashes’ passing game was on point for the win. And last week, the Bobcats ran straight through the Green Wave defense.

“We’re trying to get a few tees off the offensive set and the motion they run, trying to get tendencies off that,” Beesley said. “We might drop a few more people in pass coverage. We played a lot of zone last week, which we haven’t played all year, so now we’ll try to mix our coverages up.”

That plan is made a bit more difficult with the absence of linebacker Kole Junkin this week.

Junkin pulled a hamstring in Friday’s game and has been held out of practice all week.

“He’s still out right now. We’ll make a decision probably Thursday evening,” Beesley said. “We’re preparing for him not to play right now. If we can get a few plays out of him here and there, we will. But if not, we hopefully have him for next week.”

But linebacker JEB White, who was held out of practices the past two weeks due to a strained medial collateral ligament, is fully healthy again, a good sign if the Green Wave defense is going to stop the Pirates.

Beesley said his main concern is the opponents’ speed.

“We preach it to them all week how fast they are going to be,” he said. “But we can’t simulate that speed in practice, so we have to make sure we know on Friday night that these kids are going to be a lot faster than what they run against in practice. We’re just trying to continually tell them to be ready.”