The newly-formed Cathedral/Matignon/Cristo Rey football co-op is coming together quickly, resulting in a 2-0 start following Friday night’s 27-6 takedown of defending Division 8 champion Randolph at Carter Park.
The Panthers struck on their second series, with junior Trayvon Fields finding classmate Russell Glover for a 6-yard score. On their next possession, senior back Kyree Egerton left the field with an injury, but Cathedral responded with a 29-yard scoring pass from Fields to Andrew Hedgepeth.
“It just means I have to take my opportunities,” Hedgepeth said. “I had to step up on the team. I had to show team leadership so people follow my role.”
The Blue Devils (1-2) scored with 3:30 left in the half on a 6-yard rush by senior Isaiah Michel, but Cathedral responded with a touchdown three plays later — Fields to Hedgepeth for 48 yards.
“When I saw the pocket, I looked at my options and Andrew was open,” Fields said. “I had to really put some oomph into the ball [because of the wind], the more spiral the better the throw.”
The second half was a defensive struggle, with Hedgepeth producing a 5-yard rush to put the game away.
“I knew it was coming,” Hedgepeth. “I told the huddle just to be quiet and we were going to push through. They knew it was coming.”
“It’s a statement of how much we’ve grown in the last couple of years,” said Cathedral coach Derrick Beasley. “We wanted to make sure we met the physicality of Randolph. We knew they’re one of the fastest teams we’ve seen the past couple years. We had to match what they were putting out there, and I think we did.”
Trying to keep football alive at three small schools, the roster has grown from 25 players to 55, and looks like a legitimate contender in Division 8.
“I’m very proud of the team,” Beasley said. “The last couple years we’ve been in the dumps as far as the win column. It’s a good feeling to see the kids go back and do something they love and get on the winning side again, it’s a bright spot for the community, it’s something great.”
AJ Traub can be reached at email@example.com.