Cathedral defense limits Parklane in win
Published 12:46 am Saturday, September 19, 2015
NATCHEZ — The Cathedral Green Wave stood their ground against MAIS AAAA opponent Parklane Academy and defended their home turf on homecoming, taking a 27-3 victory Friday night.
The Green Wave defense stifled the Pioneers all night, holding Parklane Academy to just 146 total yards on offense.
“I thought the defense played lights out,” Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing said. “Early they drove down the field on us and we had a goal line stand, so overall I was pleased how we played.”
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Offensively, however, Rushing was constantly in a state of disarray, trying to figure out what was going wrong.
After driving 67 yards on the first drive of the game, capped by a 26-yard touchdown run from Dee Fleming, the Green Wave offense struggled the rest of the half, failing to score.
“It was a sloppy first half of football,” Rushing said. “We made a lot of mistakes and just weren’t executing. We came out on the first drive, went down and scored, but from there, it was like we flipped a switch and played very undisciplined.”
Parklane Academy’s lone score of the game came on their second drive of the game. It was also the longest drive of the game, taking 16 plays and eating minutes off the clock.
Although the Pioneers drove all the way down to the Green Wave four-yard line, they were forced to settle for a field goal.
Rushing said the message to his team at halftime was simple, play like you know you can.
“We had to stop making stupid penalties and needed to execute,” Rushing said.
The Green Wave did just that.
After forcing a three-and-out on Parklane Academy’s first drive, Cathedral found the end zone four plays later on an 8-yard run from Fleming. Fleming finished the night with 21 carries for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
“Dee is just a workhorse,” Rushing said. “We’ve got to put the ball in his hands. There are going to be some games where he is going to have to carry the ball 30 times.”
Fleming said it was nice to be able to play a full four quarters, after being forced to sit out the back end of some games due to large Cathedral leads.
“It felt really good because we are going to need that in the long run,” Fleming said. “It is just preparing us, and it was what we needed to do.”
On the ensuing Green Wave drive, quarterback Connor Mire found his groove, connecting with Jardarius Anderson on an 11-yard touchdown pass to push the Green Wave lead to 20-3.
A little more than two minutes later, Mire found Anderson again, this time on a 44-yard deep ball down the sidelines for their second touchdown connection of the game, sealing the 27-3 win for Cathedral.
“Coach really got onto me at halftime,” Mire said. “I talked to Jadarius at halftime, and Jadarius told me to get him the ball. I laid it out there for him, and he went and got it.”
Mire finished the day 12-of-16-for 255 yards and the two touchdowns along with an interception.
Anderson had 65 receiving yards on four catches ,and JJ Jenkins added 69 receiving yards on three grabs.