Top-ranked Cathedral prepares for Lumberton

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 1, 2014

At 5-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, the Cathedral Green Wave have a target on their back.

And next in line to take a shot at the top team is Lumberton, who is 4-1 and one of the most dangerous teams in 1A.

“They are a good team,” said Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing. “They beat us at their place by one last year. They are extremely athletic and have some guys that can run and do things in space. They’ve got a good group of skill kids.”

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Cathedral is coming off a 35-14 win at Stringer, while Lumberton enters the game off a 45-7 win against Sacred Heart.

With playoff implications on the line, Rushing knows a win in this game is essential for the Green Wave.

“If we win this game, it would probably set us up with the one-seed in the playoffs, and if we lose, we could fall to three or four,” he said. “This could really get us playing well heading toward the end of the year.”

But distractions could be standing in Cathedral’s way, with homecoming festivities taking over the school.

“Every year it is tough to play homecoming,” Rushing said. “Hopefully it will keep our guys loose with it being a big game and will help take the edge off. We’ve had two good practices this week and gotten some good stuff in.”

Rushing said that Lumberton has one of the better defenses in the district and that they return around eight starters from last season. However, with how the Green Wave offense has been playing, things could get interesting Friday.

Senior Wyatt Boothe lit up Stringer on the ground for 94 yards in Cathedral’s last game and Rushing said his ability to be mobile from the quarterback position has helped open up the offense.

“He ran the ball really well,” said Rushing of Boothe. “We established the run early and Christian (Jenkins) and Dee (Fleming) ran the ball well, too. When they are running like that we can run some of our zone-read stuff and a few more things. And with Wyatt being able to pull it down and run, it adds another problem that teams have to deal with.”

Cathedral and Lumberton are scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff in Natchez.