Plenty of excitement left in season

Published 12:01 am Sunday, October 13, 2013

Trinity Episcopal is undefeated. Adams County Christian School has one loss. Cathedral High School boasts a high-powered offense that has been able to score almost at will this year.

Welcome to the 2013 football season in Natchez, where several local teams are having excellent years and seem primed to make a run in the playoffs.

Even Natchez High School, which has struggled up to this point with a 3-4 record, is likely a victim of a tough MHSAA Region 3-5A schedule more than it is a sign that the Bulldogs are a poor team.

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With several weeks left on the regular-season schedule, it’s more than a little exciting to know that several teams in the Natchez area have a chance to close the regular season strong — and hopefully make some noise in November, too.

NHS faces the daunting task of traveling to Laurel High School Friday to take on an undefeated Golden Tornadoes squad. But after that, the schedule gets noticeably easier for the Bulldogs. They face Brookhaven, Pearl River Central and Wingfield high schools to close out the season, and those three teams have a combined two regional wins heading into this week.

ACCS has seen a dramatic turnaround in year two of the David King era, with its only loss coming against a very good Centreville Academy team. If the Rebels keep playing the way they have since that loss, a postseason re-match with the Tigers might be in the books. ACCS boasts a strong rushing attack and good defense to go along with a developing passing game. If ACCS is to compete for a state title, it will likely need to make a few more plays in the air going forward.

Cathedral’s bread and butter is its passing attack, with quarterback Thomas Garrity and receiver Jardarius Anderson still ranked in the top 10 on in their respective categories. The Green Wave will likely win and die by their aerial assault going forward. Some will point to the Green Wave’s defense giving up 30 points per game as a weakness, but that shows a lack of understanding about Cathedral’s game.

NHS offensive coordinator Trey Woodard once described the Bulldogs as a team that isn’t so much concerned about preventing scores as it is getting stops. In other words, if the Bulldogs can put up a lot of points and get just enough stops on defense to win, then the defense did its job.

Cathedral is likely the same way. No, the Green Wave won’t completely shut down a top-tier opponent’s offense, but the Green Wave can score as well as anyone in Class 1A. If Cathedral can get enough stops on defense — and cut down on the turnovers — it has a chance to make a deep run in November.

Finally, there’s Trinity, a team that I would argue is the most balanced team in the area, relatively speaking. It’s difficult to spot any weaknesses on this Saints squad. Trinity can both pass the ball and run the ball, and the defense had a string of four straight shutouts before this past week’s 36-7 win against River Oaks.

The Saints are good on offense and defense, and they have several weapons on both sides of the ball. I’m not going to go ahead and crown them the MAIS Class A state champions — I’d be getting way ahead of myself, and Trinity coach Josh Loy would probably have a few choice words for me if I did. That said, in all honesty, it’s difficult to spot a team in Class A that can match up with Trinity. The Saints are a complete football team in every sense of the word.

The regular season is almost over in Mississippi, but there should still be plenty of excitement left for the local squads.