Darbonne, Cathedral eye Columbia

Published 12:24 am Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cathedral High School has squared off against some of the top teams MAIS has to offer, including Adams County Christian School, Jackson Prep, St. Joseph-Madison and others.

They’ll get a crack at another Friday night.

The Greenwave (3-6, 1-2) will travel to face district rival Columbia Academy in its season finale.
Cathedral coach Chuck Darbonne said the Cougars (7-2, 2-1) are not only talented across the board, and have depth.

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“It’s the only school we’ll face that starts 22 different kids,” Darbonne said. “They’ve done a good job and have had not too many injuries.”

Unfortunately for Darbonne, the same cannot be said for his squad as the Greenwave have sustained injuries to key parts in recent weeks, most notably to quarterback Connor Mire and do-it-all athlete Craig Bradley.

“We just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to the games and injuries,” Darbonne said.

The first-year coach said Cathedral will be without the services of his two seniors Friday, but that just means on up an opportunity for younger players to showcase their abilities.

“We’ll plug in the next guy and expect them to do the best they can,” he said.
Darbonne said Columbia is led by its playmaking tight end Owen Harper. The 6-foot-6, 215 pounder hauled in four catches for 107 yards receiving and two touchdowns in his team’s 55-28 win over Bowling Green.

The Cougars also feature a strong player at quarterback, Darbonne said. In last week’s win, senior signal-caller Wiley Cleland threw for 313 yards. Darbonne said Cleland has thrown for approximately 2,000 yards this season.

“He’s big and physical and can run,” Darbonne said. “They’re probably one of the most balanced offenses that we’ve faced.”

Darbonne said his team has made position switches in the buildup to Friday’s tilt that’s added “enthusiasm” to this week’s practice.

“We’ve got to keep the emphasis on being physical,” Darbonne said. “We had some success last week (against Centreville Academy), we just couldn’t sustain it.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.