Cathedral capitalizes on errors to get win

Published 1:32 am Saturday, October 25, 2008

NATCHEZ — Down 13-0 in the first quarter, it looked like another long night for Cathedral Friday.

But the Green Wave came back strong for their first win in six games, 48-27 against Pisgah High, scoring all their points in two quarters.

The Dragons got a quick 74-yard pass for a touchdown from Marcellus Grant to Jay Winsley just 3 1/2 minutes into the first quarter and scored again four minutes later on a 4-yard run by Donatello Luckett to go up 13-0.

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“They got the breaks the first six minutes of the game,” said Cathedral coach Craig Beesley. “The kids thought that we were in a different coverage, and they busted a long pass (for the first score).”

But the Green Wave were not about to lay down for a sixth time, scoring on three long passes in a row from Preston Edwards.

The first was a 45-yard pass to Daniel Huffines that was actually tipped by a Pisgah defender before falling into Huffines’ hands. He broke loose from the defender’s tackle to reach the end zone.

Preston sent a 35-yarder down the field to Kole Junkin two minutes later to take the lead and connected with Junkin again for 20 yards to end the half with a 21-21 tie.

In between the second and third touchdowns, Pisgah scored again on a 41-yard run by Donnell Wilson.

“It’s been tough with the last five games we’ve played, and then we come out and go down 13-0 right off the bat,” Beesley said. “It really had me worried about them. But they hung in there, and we got a few breaks and got back even with them at halftime.”

The third quarter proved to be the clincher for Cathedral, which scored 27 points — three of those touchdowns thanks to superb special teams play.

The first score came on a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Edwards with 6:39 left in the half. After the defense held the Dragons to four-and-out, Zac Arnold blocked Pisgah’s punt, recovering it at their 12-yard line. Edwards swiftly ran the ball in three plays later.

The Dragons then fumbled the ensuing kickoff return, which Arnold recovered, and Junkin ran the ball 38 yards to the end zone on the very next play, breaking a tackle for an open right sideline.

Cathedral’s Harrison Burns then executed a textbook squib kick, which was recovered by Daniel Jenkins, who scored on a 31-yard run four plays later.

“We got the breaks in the third quarter, no doubt,” Beesley said. “We had some good bounces there and we recovered two kickoffs in a row. That’s something we haven’t had lately, but these kids have hung in real well and I’m glad to see us pull one out for them the last game out home.”

The Dragons scored once more in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t nearly enough to catch the Wave.

Edwards had 124 yards passing on 7-of-12 with three scores and had two more scores on 14 carries for 64 yards.

JEB White, despite a nearly season-long knee injury, carried 11 times for 38 yards.

“He’s banged up. He hasn’t been 100 percent for a while,” Beesley said. “But he’s tough. He doesn’t want to come out of the game and that’s the kind of kid you want to coach.”

Josh Gamberi was out of practice all week with a sore back, but he still had three tackles and four assists in the game. Daniel Jenkins had three solo and five assisted tackles, and Hunter Foster added five solos.

The Green Wave held Pisgah to 200 yards rushing, including 17 carries for 59 yards from its best running back, Luckett.

Winsley added 78 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and Wilson had 63 on eight carries.

Marcellus Grant completed one of his two passes.

“We knew we had to stop No. 5 (Luckett),” Beesley said. “The people around No. 5 were not like the people around the other good running backs (we’ve faced). We matched up better one through 11 in this game than we did in past games.”

Cathedral has a week off before traveling to West Lincoln for its final game of the season.

“All we can do now is shoot for a .500 record,” Beesley said. “We’ve got another good chance at winning that game. Hopefully we can go over there and do a good job.”