Cathedral in the pink over Crusaders

Published 12:43 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cathedral High School senior wide receiver Josh Wilkerson heads downfield after making a catch against Sacred Heart Catholic School at D'Evereux Stadium Friday night. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Cathedral High School senior wide receiver Josh Wilkerson heads downfield after making a catch against Sacred Heart Catholic School at D’Evereux Stadium Friday night. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Cathedral High School rode a Pink Wave of early momentum to a 40-17 victory against Sacred Heart Catholic School Friday night.

The Cathedral players donned pink jerseys to honor family and friends who were fighting or have fought against cancer, and the Pink Wave didn’t disappoint Friday night, amassing 447 yards of total offense in a key MHSAA Region 4-1A game.

“I’m very pleased,” Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing said. “We came out well, started off clicking, and played well early. We got up and got a little sloppy, but we got to get everyone in there in the second half, so it was good.”

Email newsletter signup

The Pink Wave jumped out to an early 27-0 lead after one quarter of play behind its strong passing game, which accounted for 346 of their total yards. Sacred Heart head coach Lonny Schraeder said the Pink Wave’s attack through the air was simply too much for his team to overcome.

“You can tell Cathedral is a well-oiled machine,” Schraeder said. “We haven’t faced a team like that. We’re pretty salty when you run at us and throw every once in a while, but that kind of attack is tough to defend, and we’ve never seen that before. It was good experience for us, but we’re going to have to watch film, learn from it and get better.”

Ishmael Blackmon, who finished with five catches for 96 yards, scored three of Cathedral’s four first-quarter touchdowns on catches of 9, 6 and 39 yards apiece. Jardarius Anderson added a 65-yard touchdown catch with 4:40 to go in the first quarter.

“We had great blocking from my (fellow) receivers and my linemen,” Blackmon said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have anything.”

Anderson caught another 20-yard touchdown pass with 6:57 left in the second quarter. Sacred Heart finally got on the board with 6:31 left in the second quarter when quarterback Jackson Klein connected with Tyler Flatheau on a 22-yard touchdown pass. Cathedral scored again with 5:05 remaining in the second on a Christian Jenkins 2-yard run to take a 40-7 halftime lead.

“As flat as we came out last week (against Lumberton High School), we preached about playing with emotion and coming out and playing with some passion, and I thought the guys answered well,” Rushing said of getting ahead early. “We came out up-tempo, got things rolling and executed well early.”

Cathedral played its backups mostly in the second half, and Sacred Heart added two more scores to make it 40-17. Flatheau hit a 22-yard field goal with 6:30 remaining in the third to cut Cathedral’s lead to 40-10, and Sam Schmidt scored on a 7-yard touchdown carry with 13 seconds left in the third.

Green Wave starting quarterback Thomas Garrity completed 17 of 22 pass attempts for 314 yards and five touchdowns. He sat the entire second half as backup quarterback Connor Mire got playing time, completing 3 of 9 passes for 32 yards. Each quarterback had an interception.

Sacred Heart rotated between Klein and Will Agnew at quarterback. Klein was 4 of 14 in passing for 32 yards, and Agnew completed 1 of 5 passes for 11 yards,

Cathedral (6-2, 4-2) will play at Oak Forest Academy next week, while Sacred Heart (2-5, 0-5) will host Mount Olive High School.