Centreville Academy ready to host reeling Cathedral for homecoming

Published 1:00 pm Friday, October 13, 2023

CENTREVILLE — Two teams that are going in the opposite directions this 2023 season will face off for the first time in three years when the MAIS Class 5A Cathedral High School Green Wave travel to Centreville to take on the Class 4A Centreville Academy Tigers Friday night.

Kickoff between Cathedral (2-6) and Centreville Academy (6-2) is scheduled for 7 p.m. This is also the Tigers’ homecoming game and perhaps the Green Wave picked the wrong time to be facing Centreville at Tiger Field after what happened last week.

The Tigers traveled to Franklinton, La. to take on Bowling Green School with the MAIS District 3-4A championship on the line last Friday night. While Centreville put up enough points offensively, 49, that would have won them a lot of game, the Tigers’ defense could not stop the Buccaneers as they came out on the wrong end of a 58-49 loss.

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“We missed a lot of tackles. We didn’t tackle well. Lined up incorrectly. We didn’t play well defensively,” Centreville assistant coach Brian Stutzman said. “Offensively, we had two or three turnovers. We still had some turnovers at crucial times in the game.”

Meanwhile, Cathedral fell to Class 6A St. Joseph Catholic School of Madison 34-12. The Green Wave’s defense was able to force some turnovers and the offense was able to move the ball at times, but when that happened, they were stymied by either penalties or a tough Bruins defense.

The last time Cathedral took on Centreville Academy was back on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. The Green Wave won that game at D’Evereux Stadium 34-0 and has a 3-1 lead in this series since they joined the MAIS back in 2015. The Tigers’ only win to date was in 2016, a 27-9 win at Tiger Field.

Stutzman said by no means will the Tigers take the Green Wave lightly despite Cathedral’s struggles this season under first-year head coach Josh Loy. The Green Wave enters this game on a three-game losing streak.

“They’re got a good team. They’re very well-coached. Very talented. They’re not a bad team at all,” Stutzman said. “They play in a very tough district with a very tough schedule.”

Despite the 22-point loss at home to Madison St. Joseph, Loy said there actually a lot of good things that he took from that game — as well as a few not-so-good things.

“We forced some turnovers that kept us in the game for a while. But we couldn’t take advantage of most of them. We got in the red zone a couple of times, but we couldn’t punch it in. I thought we played extremely hard. Our guys competed and were in the game for a long time.”

When asked how surprised he was when he found out that Cathedral would be Centreville’s homecoming opponent this season, Loy said, “It’s just part of scheduling. Sometimes, it’s just how the schedule falls after you get everything in. Last week for us it was Madison St. Joe.”

Loy said he is worried more about what his Green Wave can do on the field than Centreville. He added, “They’ve won a lot of games this year. We’ve just got worry about us and what we can control. We’ve still got a shot to make the playoffs.”

Even when looking at the records, Loy said the Green Wave defeating the Tigers “would not be an upset at all” because of the quality of opposition that Cathedral has faced not only in District 3-5A, but also outside of its district — including Friday night’s opponent.

“We’ve been close to being a quality team ourselves. We just have to execute and do our job,” Loy said.

As for what Centreville Academy is working on in practice this week, Stutzman said, “They throw the ball around well. They run the ball well. They have a balanced offense. They do a good job spreading the ball. We’re working on our defense. Offensively, we’re been working on our running game.”

Stutzman added the one thing that concerns him the most about the Green Wave on each side of the ball is their speed.

Loy said his team is working on several things in practice this week, like being more efficient on offense and taking care of the ball while on defense, the Green Wave has doing some tackle drills. They’ll have to tackle better to slow down the Tigers’ high-powered offense.

As for what concerns him the most about the Tigers on each side of the ball, Loy said, “They’ve got a big offensive line. Our defensive line has to control the line of scrimmage. They’ve got some quality receivers they throw the ball to. Offensively, we’ve got to move the ball better. We’ve been hurting ourselves with penalties at untimely spots.”

Stutzman said that Centreville will have to play as a team for the Tigers to celebrate their homecoming game with a victory Friday night.

“Our offensive line has to block. Every play, sometimes we do good. Some plays we take off. We have contain their speed. We have to limit their big plays. We have to make the tackles. We can’t continue to tackle like we have been,” Stutzman said.