Batieste, Russ leading the way for Cathedral

Published 11:06 am Monday, September 26, 2022

NATCHEZ — After six games this season, Cathedral High School has quite the one-two punch offensively in senior quarterback Noah Russ and senior wide receiver Kaden Batieste. And they have the stats to prove it.

According to MaxPreps, Russ leads the entire state in touchdown passes with 19, is second in scoring with 114 points, and is third in passing yards with about 1,150 yards. Batieste leads the state in both receiving yards at close to 750 and receiving touchdowns with 10.

“That’s based on who reported stats to MaxPreps,” Cathedral head coach Chuck Darbonne said. “That’s public schools and private schools in the state of Mississippi. Not everyone has reported stats to them.”

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Russ threw two touchdown passes against St. Joe-Madison, one against Parklane Academy, five against both the Louisiana Kings and then archrival St. Aloysius High School just last Friday night, and six against Pisgah High School.

Darbonne said both Russ and the receiving corps have improved as the season has gone along. And that is part of the reason the Green Wave won three of its last four games to improve to 3-3 overall.

“As a group, we’ve gotten better. He’s obviously getting better every week. His offensive line has gotten better. They’ve given him good protection,” Darbonne said. “The receivers, there’s not many drops. They’re running good routes. Noah’s done a really good job.”

Batieste is averaging close to 125 receiving yards a game. He had two TD receptions against both St. Joe-Madison and Pisgah and three each against the Louisiana Kings and St. Aloysius.

Darbonne added that even though Batieste is leading the state in receiving yards and touchdowns, Russ is making sure he spreads the wealth and makes sure the other receivers also have multiple touchdown receptions.

“He sets the tone for the whole receiving group and the defensive backs group. Being the leader in both groups,’ Darbonne said about Batieste, who also plays defensive back. “He works hard in practice to get himself prepared for Friday. I’ve been really amazed with him. The hard work he’s put in after changing positions.”

Batieste had played running back his entire football career before making the switch to wide receiver, which was needed for the Green Wave after losing several wideouts to graduation last year.

“He filled in a spot we needed to have a good two receiver. To transition from the spring and into the summer, to change transitions like that,” Darbonne said.