Big plays help Class 6A Hartfield Academy pull away from Class 5A Cathedral

Published 11:35 pm Friday, September 1, 2023

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FLOWOOD — It was another rough Friday night for the MAIS Class 5A Cathedral High School Green Wave as they fell behind early thanks, or in their case no thanks, to some big plays in a 48-20 setback to the Class 6A Hartfield Academy Hawks.

Despite the blowout loss — and it could have been worse — Cathedral first-year head coach Josh Loy said he pleased with his team’s effort and proud of the fact that the Green Wave didn’t quit even after being down 48-6 early in the third quarter.

“I thought we came out and played hard. We did some good things tonight,” Loy said. “But we gave up three big plays. They had two pick-sixes and a punt return for a touchdown. We got behind on the wrong side of the scoreboard.”

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Those three “big plays” Loy was referring to were a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 46-yard punt return each for TDs by Bralan Womack and a 30-yard INT return for a score by Chris Jones — all in the second quarter — that turned a 14-0 game in favor of the Hawks (4-0) at the end of the first quarter into a 35-6 advantage.

The only score for the Green Wave was a 79-yard TD pass from Tristan Fondren to Terrance Lee that briefly gave them some momentum. That didn’t last very long.

Hartfield Academy quarterback Jaxon Jenkins threw about a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kenzy West late in the first half to give the Hawks a 42-6 halftime lead. With a running clock in the second half, Jenkins connected with West on a 40-yard scoring pass to go up 48-6.

Cathedral scored a touchdown and added a two-point conversion late in the third quarter to make it a 48-14 game. The Green Wave got a one-yard TD run from Fred Lane just past the midway point of the fourth quarter.

“The second half, we challenged our guys. They played with grit and determination,” Loy said.

Cathedral (1-2) plays host to Oak Forest Academy at 7 p.m. Friday at D’Evereaux Stadium in the MAIS District 3-5A opener for both teams. It will also be the Armed Forces Game.