Cathedral handles Salem in 28-12 Green Wave win

Published 12:51 am Saturday, October 25, 2014

It was a control-the-pace kind of night for Ron Rushing’s (8-1) Cathedral Green Wave, defeating (5-3) Salem 28-12 on the road.

“We were a different type of team tonight,” said Rushing, who was coming off of his first loss of the season to Oak Forest Academy last week. “We controlled the ball, and really, I thought we won both lines of scrimmage.”

For the fourth time this season season, Cathedral fell in a hole early. Salem drew first blood on a 43-yard pass from Kirk Jefferson to O.J. Magee with two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

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“That was a great call by their coach,” Rushing said. “It was a fourth down play, and they dialed up a halfback pass on us and scored, but we answered. That’s what I told our guys after the game, ‘Big teams answer.’”

That answer came immediately when Dee Fleming took the ensuing kickoff to the house, regaining the momentum for the Green Wave. Fleming finished the game with 83 yards on 18 carries and had three of Cathedral’s touchdowns. The “salt” to his “pepper” — Christian Jenkins — added 60 yards on the ground on 13 carries in a game that fits more of Jenkins’ ground-and-pound style.

“He’s so strong,” Rushing said. “He runs the ball downhill and ran the ball really well tonight. We have two backs we feel comfortable giving the ball too.”

With a 7-6 lead, Cathedral drove the ball down the field late in the second quarter and was faced with a decision — run the ball on the goal line or kick the field goal. For Rushing, it was an easy one to make, as he elected to hand the ball to Jenkins behind fullback Zach Flattmann and offensive linemen Robert Hargrave and Will Wallace. Jenkins plunged in for the score as the half ended, giving Cathedral a 14-6 lead.

Coming out of the half, Cathedral added to its lead on a long drive that was capped off by a 22-yard touchdown pass to Fleming from Wyatt Boothe. Boothe finished the game with 70 rushing yards and 81 passing yards, completing 8 of 13. Perhaps, none were more important than the touchdown pass.

“We kind of pulled away with that score,” Rushing said. “That was a 7-minute drive we had there, and that score really hurt them.”

Rushing said he couldn’t point out any specific defensive performances because Cathedral was flying to the ball and gang tackling. He said it was a “good problem to have.”

Cathedral will play at (1-7) Dexter next week.