Cathedral looks for second region win at home tonight

Published 12:01 am Friday, September 16, 2011

NATCHEZ — It’s not something that the Cathedral High School football team doesn’t do anyway, but it’s always good to get repetitive in this case.

In the week leading up to tonight’s home game against Stringer High School, Green Wave head coach Ron Rushing said his team is trying to improve on the foundation its already set.

“We’re trying to sharpen everything up,” Rushing said. “Of course, we’re always doing that, but we’re really just trying to get a little bit better at what we do.”

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Rushing also said he’s taking special care to make sure his defense is ready to face a formidable ground attack from Stringer tonight.

“We’re really concentrating on the defensive side of the ball,” Rushing said. “They average (approximately) 350 yards rushing per game , so we’re spending extra time there knowing what we do with assignments and everything.”

After a 45-21 win against Resurrection Catholic School this past Saturday, the Green Wave (3-0) are 1-0 in MHSAA Region 4-1A. Stringer (2-1) is also 1-0 in the region, and Rushing said there are even more similarities between his squad and the Red Devils.

“They were a 2A school last year, and they’re Single-A this year, and they have some really good athletes,” Rushing said.

“Scheme-wise, we do different things, but they play a lot of kids and rest a lot of linemen and skills guys. They have 14 seniors, and they’re probably one of the favorites in Single-A this year. It’s definitely a big game for us.”

Rushing said the strength of the Red Devils’ rushing game centers on its right guard and right tackle.

“They’ve got five or six backs that they run, but they have a 6-foot-3, 330-pound tackle and a 6-foot-5, 270-pound guard,” Rushing said.

“They run behind those guys very well. They’re just some good football linemen. We’re going to have our hands full, up we’re up for the challenge.”

Rushing said he’s going to line up Josh Callaway, who’s 6-foot-2, 275 pounds, to try and counteract Stringers’ right side of the line. Rushing also said he doesn’t plan to change anything on offense.

“We’re going to do the same thing we always do, see what they’re trying to take away and attack them,” Rushing said.

With every game being a region matchup from here on out, Rushing said his team has the added pressure of not wanting to slip up even once.

“You have to be focused week in and week out,” Rushing said. “If you slip up and let someone beat you, you could move from the two spot to the four spot, or even the five spot and be out of the playoffs.

“Each week is really tough on our kids to remain focused. There are six or seven teams out of 10 in our region that have a really good chance of making the playoffs.”

But the tough regional schedule does do a good job getting the team ready for a playoff run, Rushing said.

“If you can get through it without any injuries, you’re kind of battle-tested for the playoffs,” he said. “I think it definitely gives you a little bit of an advantage.”

Kickoff at Cathedral is at 7:30 tonight.