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Cathedral High notches another win, defeats Brookhaven Academy 27-17

NATCHEZ — In a battle of undefeated teams, the Cathedral High School Green Wave upset the Brookhaven Academy Cougars 27-17 Friday night at D’Evereaux Stadium in a pivotal MAIS District 4-4A game for both teams.

Cathedral won the game in two key areas — in the trenches and in the turnover battle. Even though they saw a 10-point lead go away early in the fourth quarter, the Green Wave regained their momentum with two touchdowns in the final 6:29.

“We controlled the line of scrimmage. Offensive line and defensive line did an excellent job,” said Chuck Darbonne, Green Wave head coach. “When you have a guy that runs for 180 yards and you an offense like they’ve got to under 300 (total) yards…they stepped up to the challenge.”

Instead of relying on its passing game, Cathedral ran turned to its running game and it paid dividends. As a team, the Green Wave ran the ball 51 times for 239 yards. They were led by Bryson Moore, who had 180 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries.

Noah Russ was 10-for-23 passing for 126 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He also had nine carries for 27 yards. Kaden Batieste had eight carries for 33 yards.

“Bryson’s a very special player for us. He’s been good on defense since day one. The last two years he’s worked into being a really good running back,” Darbonne said. “He’s a physical runner. He benefits from a great offensive line and tight ends that block for him. His vision’s gotten better.”

Moore also contributed on defense with nine tackles and one sack. Christian Wright had five catches for 63 yards and one touchdown while Harper Jones had three receptions for 43 yards. Defensively, KJ Washington had six tackles while Batieste had five tackles and one interception. Jake Hairston had five tackles and one fumble recovery. Jordan Henry had four tackles and one interception.

Darbonne said he wasn’t surprised that his defense held Brookhaven Academy, the No. 1 ranked team in Class 4A, to just 288 yards of total offense.

“I expect this out of these guys. Defensive backs made plays when they had to. We took away their passing lanes. We executed the game plan to perfection,” Darbonne said. “Everyone stepped up from seniors to freshmen.”

Tyler Fortenberry completed 13 of 27 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns, but was also picked off twice. However, the Cougars’ ground game was held in check — just 83 yards on 20 carries.

Cathedral (5-0, 2-0) plays host to defending Class 4A state champion Riverfield Academy at 7 p.m. on Friday in another key district match-up.