Cathedral trying to secure region title

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 3, 2011

NATCHEZ — The Cathedral School football team has earned its way to the top of the Region 4-1A standings. But the Green Wave will need a win Friday against University Christian to maintain their lofty perch atop the region and bring home their second-consecutive region title.

Cathedral and Stringer are both 7-1 in region-play, and tied for the top spot, with Cathedral owning the head-to-head tiebreaker. Bogue Chitto and Dexter are each one game behind the leaders at 6-2.

Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing said a lot is on the line in Friday’s game, and it could mean the difference between the top-seed and a No. 2 or 3 seed for the Green Wave.

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“Going in (to the playoffs) as the top seed would help mentally and emotionally,” Rushing said. “We would like to get on a roll before the playoffs start.”

University Christian comes into Friday’s game with a record of 4-5, and Rushing said the Flames are an experienced team that has lost a lot of close games.

“They have 19 seniors returning, and they will come down here with those seniors playing their last game, so we expect a hard-fought game,” Rushing said.

Rushing said University Christian uses a balanced attack offensively, and his defense will have to be prepared to stop the run and the pass.

He said it is hard to determine how teams, including University Christian, will try to attack Cathedral’s passing offense, which can make it difficult for his offense to prepare.

“We throw the ball more than most people, so there’s no telling what we are going to see,” he said. “We prepare for different fronts and for teams to play zone or man.”

Rushing said a second-consecutive district championship could be an even bigger accomplishment than last season’s success.

“Last year we kind of snuck up on people, and this year we’ve had the bull’s-eye on our backs all year, so it’s possibly harder this year,” he said.

“We’ve expected to win from day one.”

Rushing said that it would be big for the Green Wave to secure a first-round home game as well.

Rushing said his team would need to play disciplined Friday and keep the penalty numbers down.

“We just have to play like we’ve been playing,” he said.

Cathedral (9-1, 7-1) will host University Christian (4-5, 4-4) at 7 p.m. Friday.