Cathedral hammers St. Al

Published 10:25 pm Friday, August 21, 2015

By Matt Sigler

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Butterflies were churning in Conner Mire’s stomach an hour before Cathedral’s season opener Friday against rival St. Aloysius.

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The junior quarterback was slated to make his first varsity start after a summer long competition with senior Andrew Beesley came to a close.

“I felt like I was confident and ready, but about an hour before the game I started getting nervous, and you could tell on the first play of the game I was nervous.”

After receiving the opening kickoff, Mire was sacked on the first play from scrimmage, fumbled, and the Flashes recovered.

But his night was far from done.

Mire marched his team 80 yards down the field on the next drive, and didn’t look back. He finished the night 19-of-27 passing for 139 yards and a touchdown as the Green Wave smashed St. Al 31-6 for its seventh consecutive win in the rivalry series.

“What a great job he did,” Cathedral coach Ron Rushing said of Mire. “I’m extremely proud of the way he came out and played. He controlled the game and got the ball to different people.”

Alongside Mire’s solid outing, the Cathedral defense shut down the Flashes, allowing just 74 total yards and holding St. Al running back DeMichael Harris, who recorded more than 2,000 rushing yards last season, to 28 yards on 15 carries. Harris scored the lone touchdown for the Flashes late in the fourth quarter.

“We played with great effort and passion,” Rushing said. “Defensively, I thought we were lights out. From last week to this week, we corrected a bunch of mistakes with our eyes and we are getting our reads. I’m really proud of the improvement from last week to this week.”

Cathedral got on the board first behind a 15-yard run from senior running back Dee Fleming. Fleming finished the game with 63 yards, but his night was cut short at halftime after sustaining an injury.

“Dee will be fine,” Rushing said. “It was more precautionary than anything. He’s a difference maker, but we had some guys step up when we took him out.”

After a 30-yard field goal from Nic Webb pushed Cathedral’s lead to 10-0, Fleming’s replacement Zach Flattmann went to work.

Flattmann increased the Green Wave’s lead to 17-0 on a 1-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left in the first half. Flattmann led the Green Wave with 72 rushing yards on 10 carries.