Nov. 28 Monday notebook

Published 12:48 am Monday, November 28, 2011

Cathedral High School’s Kyle Bradley (12) catches a touchdown pass during the first half of the 2011 South State Championship game Friday night. (Thomas Graning \ Special to The Democrat)

NATCHEZ — The Cathedral School football team saw its season come to an end Friday night with a 54-39 loss at Noxapater High School in the South State Championship Game.

The Green Wave, who finished the season with 12 wins led by a high-powered offense, had trouble stopping an effective Noxapater rushing attack that accumulated 401 yards on the ground.

But, as Cathedral saw its season slipping away late in the third quarter of the contest, trailing by a score of 47-25, head coach Ron Rushing said he saw what made this team so special all season.

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Cathedral climbed back into the game by scoring 14 unanswered points and cutting the deficit to just eight points.

“That’s just what they’re made out of,” Rushing said. “We sucked it up and got the ball back down eight with a chance to score and tie it. They’re all great kids, they played hard and sucked it up when they had to.”

Cathedral’s last efforts to tie the game stalled, and its dreams of a state championship ended. But, Rushing said this team would be remembered for much more than what they did on the football field.

“I was telling them, as much as they’ve accomplished stat-wise and team-wise, with the wins and everything, they’re even better kids,” Rushing said. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do, they’ve worked extremely hard and they’ve been together for a long time. It’s just a really close group, and I respect them even more as people than I do as players.”

There are 10 seniors on the Cathedral roster this season, and Rushing said that solid group of 12th graders led the way for the Green Wave this season, and they will be missed.

“They’ve been the bread and butter the last couple of years. I’m very proud of what they’ve accomplished. It’s going to be hard to replace all of them,” he said.

Cathedral finished its season with a 12-2 record. The Green Wave also won their second-consecutive MHSAA-1A Region 4 Championship.

Mangham 42, Block 6

The Block High School football team also saw its season end Friday night.

The Bears had issues stopping Mangham High Schools’ powerful running game, especially running back Shaquille Ausberry, head coach Benny Vault said.

Vault said his team had its chances to score with the Dragons, but the Bears were stopped on a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line on their first possession. From then on the Bears saw some success moving the ball but could not get points.

“We moved the ball up and down the field, but penalties hurt us,” Vault said. “We had a touchdown called back on a holding penalty. We just couldn’t get it all working together.”

Vault said Block played a tough schedule this season, which led the Bears to finish with an 8-5 record on the season. Only one of those losses came to a LHSAA Class-1A team — that team was Mangham.

He said he was proud of the way his team rebounded from those early season losses, and he expects his team to be competitive again next season.

Block finished the regular season as the Class-1A District 4 Champions.