Cathedral needs same effort shown against MRA to beat St. Joseph Madison, coach says

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2021

NATCHEZ — Even in a 56-7 loss to two-time defending MAIS Class 6A state champion Madison-Ridgeland Academy, Cathedral High School head coach Chuck Darbonne said he was proud of his team’s effort.

And Cathedral had its chances to put points on the scoreboard, including after its defense intercepted a pass in the first quarter. But the Green Wave were unable to capitalize on the opportunities they had and the result was a 56-7 loss to the Patriots.

Now the Green Wave must shift its focus to getting ready for their first road game of the season as they will travel to Madison to take on St. Joseph Catholic School-Madison, also known Madison St. Joe. Kickoff between Cathedral (0-1) and the Bruins is at 7 p.m. Friday.

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Head coach Chuck Darbonne said the main emphasis of practice this week will be getting better fundamentally.

“We’re still trying to improve all our techniques,” Darbonne said. And the Green Wave will need to block better and not turn the ball over if they are to beat what Darbonne said is a talented Bruins team.

In addition to being proud of his team’s effort, Darbonne said, “We played against a team that has kids (playing) one-way. Our kids fought really hard without much break. I was proud of how our kids battled with the two-time defending 6A champs. We seemed to run out of gas.”

As for what areas still need to get better, Darbonne said, “Just knowing our offensive and defensive assignments. Playing with more physicality. Finishing plays. And our endurance to be able to play harder for longer. Playing four quarters.”

Darbonne said it will take that kind of effort for the Green Wave to win on the road against the Bruins.

“If we play four quarters of that kind of effort, we’re going to be in a position to win most games. Madison St. Joe is a very talented team. Good skill players. Big linemen. Very talented quarterback. They’re much improved from last year,” Darbonne said.

Madison St. Joe made its varsity football debut in the MAIS last Friday night. The Bruins, who are also a Class 5A team in 11-man football, lost to the Copiah Academy Colonels in Gallman 34-19.

As for what concerns him most about the Bruins, Darbonne said, “They have a lot of speed at receiver and have a good quarterback. They have a big offensive line that averages about 260 pounds. Their offensive linemen also play on the defensive line. Those same receivers also play defensive back. They’re a very aggressive team.

Darbonne said that the Green Wave must play four quarters like they did in the first half last week against MRA for them to be defeat Madison St. Joe and go to 1-1 on the season.

“Eliminate the turnovers. On defense, play our responsibilities and play in the right position,” Darbonne said.