SHOWDOWN: Green Wave hosts cross-town rival Rebels for first football game in five years

Published 7:03 am Friday, October 20, 2023

NATCHEZ — When the Cathedral High School Green Wave plays host to cross-town and now MAIS District 3-5A rival Adams County Christian School for Senior Night at D’Evereux Stadium this Friday night, bragging rights for the next year will likely be the only thing at stake for both teams. 

It is the first football meeting between the two sides since 2018.

Kickoff between ACCS (7-3, 2-2) and Cathedral (2-7, 1-3) is slated for 7 p.m. The Rebels are coming off an impressive 28-6 Senior Night win over 2022 MAIS Class 4A state champion St. Joseph Catholic School of Greenville (now in Class 3A) while the Green Wave more than held their own in a tough 43-40 loss to Centreville Academy in the Tigers’ homecoming game.

Email newsletter signup

Rebels assistant coach Matthew Freeman said there were some good and not so good things their coaching staff came away with from last Friday night’s win over the Fighting Irish.

“We really didn’t execute in the first half. Us not capitalizing on scoring opportunities allowed them to stay in the game in the first half,” Freeman said. “Obviously pleased with beating an athletic team in Greenville St. Joseph. The kids executed better in the second half.”

While Cathedral may move up some in the Class 5A power ratings with an upset win over ACCS, it may not be enough for the Green Wave to extend its season. Meanwhile, a win won’t do much for the Rebels as far as seeding is concerned for the Class 5A Playoffs, which begin next Friday night.

“We’re pretty much where we’re going to be, 11 or 12, win or lose,” Freeman said. Which means the Rebels will be on the road in the first round.

As for what the Rebels are working on in practice this week to get ready for the Green Wave, Freeman said, “Just fine-tuning the execution of our plays. Minimize mistakes. Minimize penalties. Working on team chemistry. Keep working on what we’ve been doing.”

Heading into Cathedral’s game last week at Centreville Academy, Tigers assistant coach Brian Stutzman said that the Green Wave was “the best 2-6 team I’ve seen all season.” Despite the Green Wave’s current record, Freeman said he feels the same way about Cathedral.

“Cathedral’s loaded with talent. They’re a good team. They have a good coaching staff. We wouldn’t overlook them anyway being they’re our cross-town rival,” Freeman said. “Looking at them on film, they’re very talented. They’re as good as any team we’ve faced this year.”

And that includes the likes of Class 6A powerhouse Jackson Preparatory School as well as Parklane Academy, which moved down from 6A to 5A and is in the same district as both ACCS and Cathedral.

As to what concerns him the most about the Green Wave on each side of the ball, Freeman said, “Their athleticism on offense and their toughness on defense.” He added that ACCS’s senior leaders will need to step for the Rebels to come out victorious and with momentum on their side heading into the postseason.

“We need our senior leadership to keep everybody under control and keep everyone together as a team. Don’t let the moment get too big. It’s going to be loud over there Friday night,” Freeman said.

Efforts to get comments from Cathedral head coach Josh Loy on Wednesday morning for his take on this rivalry game, how many seniors on the football team will be honored, and what the Green Wave is doing in practice this week to prepare for the Rebels were unsuccessful.