Cathedral clock management leads to big victory

Published 2:49 am Monday, October 4, 2010

NATCHEZ — If LSU football coach Les Miles ever wanted to get a tutorial on how to operate a last-second, game-winning drive, he needs look no farther than Natchez.

Because one day before Miles’ bungling clock mis-management at the end of the game almost cost the Tigers a win against Tennessee, the Cathedral Green Wave ran the last-second offense to perfection, and it got them a 22-21 win over Mount Olive.

Trailing 21-14 with 12 seconds left, Cathedral quarterback Caleb Upton completed a long pass to Carl Hammitte down to the 1-yard line with less than 2 seconds left.

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Cathedral had no timesouts, but the players didn’t panic.

They rushed to the line of scrimmage, and as soon as center Will Jones heard the referee blow his whistle to wind the clock, he snapped the ball to Upton who snuck it in as time expired.

“The kids did a wonderful job of keeping their composure and knowing what to do,” Cathedral coach Ron Rushing said. “They have never been in that situation before, but they handled it like they had done it many times.”

And when Jadarius Ealey ran in the two-point conversion, the Green Wave had their first victory against Mount Olive since 1993 and according to team historian Walt Brown, only their second win against the Pirates ever.

“This is a great confidence booster,” Rushing said. “It shows the kids that hard work and everything we’ve done up to this point is worth it. It’s definitely one of the wildest games I’ve been around.”

The only other time the Green Wave defeated Mount Olive was a 28-14 victory in the first round of the 1993 Class 1A playoffs.

The Green Wave advanced all the way to the state championship game before falling to Smithville 35-22.

But Rushing isn’t ready to proclaim his team that good just yet.

“We’re not looking that far down the road,” Rushing said. “The biggest thing we’re worried about is West Lincoln next week. But we’re definitely excited to be where we’re at.”

So would Rushing be willing to give Miles a tutorial on clock management?

“You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve been asked that,” Rushing said with a laugh.

Trinity Episcopal

Another team that got a huge win on Friday night is the Trinity Episcopal Saints.

The Saints turned what was thought to be a showdown between the top team in MAIS Class A and the No. 2 team in Class AA into a rout, as they blew away River Oaks 42-21.

Trinity opened up the passing attack against the Mustangs, and quarterback Givonni Dent didn’t disappoint, throwing for 339 yards and two scores while running for 108 more yards and two more touchdowns.

The Saints racked up 562 yards of total offense in the game.

Next for Trinity is another big game, this time against the No. 1 ranked team in Class AA — Brookhaven Academy.

The Saints came oh-so-close to defeating the Cougars last year, falling 25-21 when they were stopped inside the 5-yard line as time expired.

“Last year we let it slip away on the goal line,” Trinity coach David King said. “We’ve got revenge on our minds. It’s going to be a battle.”

Adams County Christian bounced back from a 35-0 loss to Parklane with an easy 54-6 rout of Riverdale on Friday.

It helped that running backs Brandon Sanders and Christopher Perry were back after missing the Parklane game with injury and illness.

“We’re a whole lot better when we have everyone in the lineup,” ACCS head coach Paul Hayles said. “It was a good overall team effort — offense and defense.”

Meanwhile, Natchez High finds itself behind the eight ball after falling to Oak Grove 31-28.

The Bulldogs fell to 0-2 in Region 3-6A play with the loss, and now must basically win the rest of their games to make their third straight playoff trip.