Cathedral hosting run-heavy Pelahatchie

Published 12:03 am Friday, November 21, 2014

The last time the Pelahatchie Chiefs met the Cathedral Green Wave in the playoffs Cathedral lost 51-40. In a second round playoff matchup tonight, Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing hopes the game plays out a different narrative.

“I hope it’s a low scoring game, because that means we’ll be getting some defensive stops,” Rushing said. “But we’re talking about a team that just scored 63 points on Lumberton and rushed for 500 yards in that game.”

Coming off of a 63-25 win against a Lumberton team the Green Wave defeated 35-34 earlier in the regular season, the Chiefs are now scoring 42 points per game and giving up an average of 19. Cathedral has similar statistics — scoring 39 per game and giving up 20 — but the Chiefs go about their offensive production with a completely opposite philosophy. Instead of spreading defenses out and running most of their offense out of the spread formation, Pelahatchie likes to line up and ride its offensive line to victory.

Email newsletter signup

“All they run is counter powers and isolations,” Rushing said. “They run three plays, but they run them out of various formations. Against Lumberton, they got in the same formation and ran out of the same formation eight times in a row.”

Pelahatchie is a literal powerhouse, winning the MHSAA Class A Power Lifting Championship in 2013. That strength shows upfront, but Rushing didn’t believe Pelahatchie would have a great size advantage over Cathedral. In fact, he’s more worried about the speed of the running backs, who find creases in the line to run through. Quarterback Tony Beeman, who has 1,040 rushing yards on the season, leads the Chiefs in rushing this season. Beeman had 220 against Lumberton. Keldrick Stokes and Woody Winters both have rushed for more than 900 yards this year, as well.

Rushing knows the key to success Friday is to force turnovers, take care of the ball and limit Pelahatchie’s ability to run the football.

“It’s all about matchups,” Rushing said. “They have some burners, and we’ll be excited to play against them.”