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McCathern's first catch one to remember
Oct 21, 2012 12:00 am
Bears strike back to zap Hendersonville
By KIMBERLY JORDAN
HENDERSONVILLE — Mt. Juliet's Contrez McCathern had a first in his high school football career Friday, catching a pass from quarterback Caleb Chowbay with 25 seconds to play.
That catch lifted the Golden Bears to a 34-31 win over District 9-AAA rival Hendersonville.
"One of my coaches said they think it's his first catch in high school football," Bears coach Roger Perry said, following his team's move to 8-1 on the season (5-1 in District 9-AAA play). "He's carried it a bunch of times, but this was his first time to catch it. It was a great time to catch it, too."
Chowbay spotted McCathern racing up the middle and tossed the pass, which McCathern hauled in around the 2-yard line and fell forward into the end zone, causing an explosion of cheers from Mt. Juliet supporters.
"Our guys did a great job up front, the protection was there. We got those receivers in our two-minute offense; they have their reads, the quarterback has his. He saw Contrez deep and put it to him," said Perry.
The Commandos scored a go-ahead 81-yard touchdown as Jeremias Elston connected with Andrew Pate with 1:20 to play in the contest that forced the Mt. Juliet offense into the two-minute drill. Six plays later, McCathern hauled in the winning score.
The back-and-forth contest was a close one all night, with neither team able to hold the opponent scoreless in any quarter.
The home crowd was given the first cause for glee when Andrew Pate found a hole in the Bear defense and scampered 38 yards for the game's first points and a 7-0 Commando lead.
Mt. Juliet scored the final 10 points of the opening quarter on a 3-yard run by Caleb Hopkins with just over five minutes remaining and Ryan Jenkins' 30-yard field goal.
Hendersonville's Bryce Deguira booted a field goal of his own with 7:10 to go in the first half to tie the score at 10. The Bears had the last word on the scoreboard for the opening half as Chowbay found Jalen Graham for a 32-yard strike and the visitors entered the locker room ahead 17-10.
Each of the teams added seven points in the third quarter. Colt Cupit muscled his way for an 8-yard touchdown with 7:17 to go in the third and Chowbay aired out a pass to Graham for a 77-yard score at 5:39 of the quarter.
"Hendersonville drove the football tonight," Perry said. "They've had two weeks to prepare for us, had an excellent game plan."
Pate crossed the plane for a 3-yard touchdown at 7:17 to play for the Commandos and Jenkins connected on his second field goal with 3:07 to play.
"We said that this would be a playoff atmosphere. It was a great team effort," said Perry. "Everybody talks about offense and defense, you gotta look at the kicking game, too. Ryan Jenkins had a big night with the field goals and the touchbacks, those things are important. He had a big night tonight."
Leading the way for Mt. Juliet was Hopkins with 141 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. McCathern added 122 yards rushing on 18 carries as well as the game-winning 54-yard reception. Chowbay finished 4-of-6 passing for 172 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Graham hauled in two passes, both touchdowns, for 108 yards. Ben Cheatham had a catch for 10 yards and rushed for an additional eight. Austin Chaplin added seven yards on two carries for the Bears.
Elston finished 4-of-8 pasisng for 103 yards and a touchdown for Hendersonville [4-5, 2-4]. Corey Jones was the Commandos leading rusher with 169 yards on 28 carries.
Mt. Juliet will conclude the regular season by visiting county rival Wilson Central for the MyTV 30 Thursday night Game of the Week. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. Hendersonville will travel to Lebanon 24 hours later.