Cathedral hosts first playoff game

Published 12:01 am Friday, November 14, 2014

Cathedral’s first opponent in its run to claim the MHSAA Class A state championship has head coach Ron Rushing thinking it’s going to be rough postseason.

The No. 4 seed French Camp will visit No. 1 regional seed Cathedral Friday in the opening round of the playoffs, and despite the seeding, Rushing isn’t viewing his first opponent as a pushover.

“You look at this team on film, and you’re thinking, ‘this is really the No. 4 seed?’ I’m scratching my head thinking about it,” Rushing said. “We’re talking about a team that won the state championship last year.”

Email newsletter signup

The good news for Rushing is that he had a healthy group enjoy what he called a great week of practice. Defensive end Quinton Logan will be back after sitting out three quarters last Friday with a thigh bruise. Rushing said Logan sat out as a precaution, and could have played in the contest.

Meanwhile, French Camp comes into the game with a 5-7 record, but Rushing said the Panthers’ season win total could have been better if without a few costly turnovers. Still, despite those turnovers, Rushing noticed a well-coached, well-disciplined bunch on the film.

“Oh they’re really schemed up,” Rushing said. “They give us plenty to worry about.”

Perhaps the biggest worry of Rushing’s is French Camp quarterback Luke McKnight, who has a skillset to beat the Green Wave with both his feet and arm. With a read-option based offense, Rushing’s defensive ends will have to stay at home and help nullify McKnight’s ability to produce first-down runs. So far this season, McKnight has thrown for 987 yards and rushed for 558, totaling 19 touchdowns on the season.

As far as Rushing’s offense goes, he’s going to try to spread the ball around to playmakers like R.J. Givens and Jardarrius Anderson on the outside, all the while focusing on the ground game with bruiser Christian Jenkins and burner Dee Fleming.

“We’re going to give the ball to Dee a lot, but we’ll be moving the ball all around,” Rushing said. “Everybody is going to have to contribute.”