It was pouring and a wind was gusting from the northeast. In other words, it was a perfect night for Charlotte Catholic, ranked No. 8 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll, and the Cougars responded Friday evening by blanking visiting Charlotte Country Day 27-0.
It was Catholic’s fourth straight victory against the Buccaneers in the annual John Cook Cup rivalry. The Cougars have taken the Cup, named for Country Day’s football coach from 1958 through ’87, six of the past seven years.
The miserable weather played right into the hands of Catholic and its powerful running game.
Senior running back Jack Brigham carried on nine of the Cougars’ first 16 plays and by halftime, Catholic had a 20-0 lead and had gained 225 yards on the ground.
That forced Country Day to throw the ball, and junior quarterback Wes Bingham was intercepted four times – three of those by Catholic senior safety James Hurney.
Country Day’s most successful drive came at the start of the second half, when the Bucs drove from their 20 to the Catholic 19. A lost fumble ended the momentum and Catholic responded by driving 80 yards for its final touchdown.
That final score came on a 15-yard run by Brigham, who had three touchdowns on the night.
Records: Catholic is 2-1 . Country Day 1-2.
Worth mentioning: Catholic had two 100-yard rushers. Brigham ran for 134 yards on 20 carries and Milan Howard had 12 rushes for 108 yards. … Coun,try Day is among the youngest teams in the Charlotte area with two freshmen and seven sophomores in the starting lineup, and coach Drew Witman is only 29 years old. … Catholic leads the overall series with Country Day 29-27. … Catholic dominated the first half, outgaining Country Day 239-46 and winning the first down battle 13-3.
What’s Next: Country Day will play at home next Friday against Davidson Day; Catholic will play next Friday at Rocky River.