Cathedral, Trinity continue in post season play

Published 12:01 am Monday, November 7, 2011

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Cathedral’s Daniel Huffines scrambles to get the ball down the field against University Christian School’s Javous Nicks.

NATCHEZ — Cathedral High School got down early 7-0, but the Green Wave responded by scoring 60 points in order to come away with a MHSAA Region 4-1A title against University Christian.

The Green Wave defeated the Flames 60-30, and quarterback Caleb Upton was 21 of 36 with 325 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Khalil Brice led in receiving for Cathedral with seven catches for 126 yards and three touchdowns. Daniel Huffines had four catches for 71 yards.

Green Wave head coach Ron Rushing said he’s not worried about his team’s seeming tendency to start games slowly.

“It’s not really an issue,” Rushing said. “It takes time to get going, and we’ve gone against teams that are extremely well-coached.”

Cathedral will host West Oktibbeha Friday in the first round of the Class 1A South State playoffs. Rushing said the main issue to address heading into the postseason is the play of the offensive line.

“Definitely, knowing our protections (is important),” Rushing said. “Teams have been sending pressure. We need to work on the run game, and defensively, (we need to work on) tackling.”

Cathedral finished the regular season 10-1, and had a regional record of 8-1.

Trinity Episcopal

The Saints rode a strong defensive performance to at 21-0 win over Wayne Academy Friday night in the first round of the MAIS Class AA playoffs.

Trinity tallied 152 yards rushing, 175 yards passing and had 16 first downs, but the score was only 14-0 midway through the fourth quarter before quarterback hit Tanner Cage with a 44-yard pass to put Trinity on the Wayne Academy 5. On the next play, running back Caleb Cross scored the touchdown with 5:50 left in the game to seal the win.

After Trinity’s defense gave up 40 points to Brookhaven Academy in the District 5-AA title game Oct. 28, the Saints tallied three interceptions and stopped the Jaguars on several key fourth-down possessions. Trinity defensive coordinator Richy Spears said his team did well against Wayne Academy’s misdirection plays.

“Our defensive line played well,” Spears said. “We finally got (them) figured out, and they stayed at home and read their keys, and we finally got to the football.

“A couple of times, they broke it, then we kind of settled down and realized what was going on. Our linebackers started staying at home and reading a little better, and we were able to stop them, and they tried to do something different. When they started throwing, you could tell that’s not what they wanted to do.”

Trinity (10-2) will play at Centreville Academy Friday night for round two of the playoffs.

Natchez High

The Bulldogs ended their season on a low note, falling to Oak Grove 45-19 in Hattiesburg.

NHS had a 6-5 record overall this season, but the Bulldogs were just 2-5 in the much-improved Region 3-6A. Head coach Lance Reed said his team would begin its offseason work immediately.

“We’re going to get back to the basics, learn how to get stronger and faster, and learn our positions better,” Reed said. “We’ll work on discipline, where we’re doing things the right way.

“We just have to go out and do what fits our team, and that starts (today).”

It was the first time NHS missed the playoffs since the 2007 season.