Cathedral upsets Mount Olive on final play

Published 2:44 am Saturday, October 2, 2010

MOUNT OLIVE — Caleb Upton scored on a 1-yard run as time expired and Jadarius Ealey ran in for the 2-point conversion as the third-ranked Cathedral Green Wave finally defeated the fourth-ranked Mount Olive Pirates 22-21 Friday night.

On a night when Rueben Duckworth, Mount Olive’s senior running back, ran for 323 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries, it was Ealey and Upton who helped Cathedral rally for a 14-point deficit late in the ball game for its second-ever victory over Mount Olive.

Cathedral improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in Region 4-1A. The Green Wave has already exceeded its win total from last year when they ended up 4-7 overall.

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“Huge win. A great, great win. Our kids kept fighting. They never gave up,” Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing said. “We were down 21-7 with about six minutes left.”

Rushing said running the ball well and using some play-action passing made the difference for the Green Wave.

“Carl Hammitte made a great play to get us down to the 1-yard line with about a second and a half left. Daniel Huffines made a couple of catches. The offensive line in the second half did a tremendous job. Everyone stepped up for us. It was a total team effort,” Rushing said.

For three and a half quarters, Mount Olive (2-4, 1-1) played like the defending Class 1A state champion.

Defensively, the Pirates were all over the place and kept the Green Wave off the scoreboard until the 7:00 mark of the third quarter when Ealey scored on a 4-yard run.

Duckworth responded with touchdown runs of 22 yards with 8:49 remaining and 85 yards with just 6:28 to go.

At that point, it looked like Cathedral had no chance whatsoever of a late rally.

That was until Ealey scored his second touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run. Brent Gaudé’s extra point made it a 21-14 ball game.

Special teams were also crucial in the outcome of the game. While Gaudé was 2-for-2 on point afters, Mount Olive missed all three of its extra points — all after Duckworth touchdowns.

It appeared that the Pirates were going to take control of the game when they got a 55-yard touchdown run from Duckworth and a 21-yard field goal from Timothy Feazell late in the second quarter.

But it didn’t turn out that way for them.

“First half, we couldn’t get thing going. At halftime we made some adjustments,” Rushing said.

Ealey finished with 91 yards rushing on 24 carries. Upton was 10-of-28 for 243 yards with two interceptions.

Cathedral looks to stay undefeated in Region 4-1A when it hosts West Lincoln for homecoming at 7 p.m. Friday.