In a must-win Catholic Central (Small) league game, Cathedral topped Lowell Catholic, 24-16, Saturday night at Madison Park.
The Panthers were led by sophomore quarterback Kejonte Hickman, who plays more like a running back. Cathedral also got an outstanding effort from its massive offensive and defensive lines, which plow through anything in their paths.
Lowell Catholic (8-1, 4-1) was led by quarterback Adam Wentzel, who threw for two touchdown passes. The Crusaders lead Division 4A with an average of 39.6 points per game. But Cathedral’s formidable defensive line, spearheaded by seniors Mohammed Braimah and Derek Welcome, racked up seven tackles in the backfield, including three sacks.
The Cathedral (7-2, 5-0) defense held the Crusaders to just 16 points, and roughed them up to the tune of minus-15 rushing yards in the second half and just 23 for the game.
“We got beat on the line,” said Lowell Catholic coach Rick Sampson. “They controlled the [offensive] line of scrimmage and their defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. When you can’t move between the tackles you can’t win.”
On offense, right tackle Welcome and left tackle Braimah relentlessly opened up big holes for the Panthers’ quartet of rushers, who piled up a 229 rushing yards.
Hickman, who was most likely the smallest guy on the field, listed at a generous 5 feet 9 inches, led the offense.
Behind his aforementioned offensive tackles and center Marquis Correa, Hickman rushed for a game-high 141 yards and three touchdowns — all through the heart of the Crusaders’ defensive line. Sophmore running back Jermal Brevard-Jackson pitched in with 82 yards on 14 carries.
“It was a good game,” said Hickman. “But my rushing yards, I could not do without [Welcome and Braimah]. They got my back all the time, no matter what they always pick me up.”
“It was all about the offensive line, they did their thing and I just ran,” said Brevard-Jackson. “They are unbelievable.’’
The win puts Cathedral atop the league with Pope John (5-4, 5-0), whom they play Saturday. If Cathedral wins that game, it will clinch the Catholic Central (Small) league championship.