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Football is back: Cathedral Green Wave starts season Friday night

NATCHEZ — The Cathedral High School Green Wave football team will travel to Waynesboro Friday to kick off the football season despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cathedral is the only Miss-Lou team playing a scheduled football game on Friday as both the Louisiana High School Athletic Association and Mississippi High School Activities Association pushed back the start of their seasons.

The Adams County Christian School Rebels football team is playing in a scrimmage against Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Madison on Friday.

The Midsouth Association of Independent Schools is the only association in Mississippi that did not push back their season.

The pandemic has also postponed the fall college season for the Big Ten, PAC-12, Mountain West and Southwestern Athletic Conference football conferences.

“It is crazy times but we are resilient and are looking forward to the challenge,” said Chuck Darbonne, Cathedral head coach. “We are looking forward to the first game this year and staying safe. The players have been looking forward to this game.”

Darbonne said the Green Wave have focused on being more efficient and having good repetitions at practices to prepare for Wayne Academy.

“We want to keep the players fresh and make sure they know their assignments on both offense and defense,” Darbonne said. “We are trying to make sure they are in the right place and not thinking too much.”

Two Green Wave players to watch are Noah Russ and Bryson Moore. Darbonne said Noah Russ is the starting quarterback for Cathedral.

Russ was the quarterback last year for Cathedral’s junior varsity; he threw for over 15 touchdowns and 1,000 passing yards in seven games. Russ said being a quarterback is a big responsibility in which he has to know everyone’s job and be a leader.

Moore is one of four offensive returning starters to the Green Wave squad. He played against Wayne Academy in the quarterfinal round, rushed for 36 yards and one rushing touchdown. Moore said if he goes full speed for every play, then he can make something happen in the game.

One of the keys to victory for the Green Wave is stopping the Jaguars’ running game. Darbonne said Cathedral has practiced different defensive schemes of what Wayne Academy ran last year in the quarterfinal game.

“We have no film on them and they have no film on us for this year,” Darbonne said. “Whatever they run on offense then at least we will have a sound defense to counteract.”

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Friday at Wayne Academy.