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Jones knows Bulldogs can rebound

NATCHEZ — The Natchez High School football team went seven weeks without losing a game after dropping its season opener against Wilkinson County.

Junior defensive back Avery Jones said that loss served as motivation for the Bulldogs to go on the winning streak that has put them in playoff contention.

This week the Bulldogs are coming off their second loss, 41-20 at Petal High School, and Jones said he hopes the team will yet again see the loss as motivation for another win streak.

“We just have to work hard at practice and stay together as a team,” he said. “I think this will make us better. After our first loss, we won six in a row.”

To start a new streak the Bulldogs will have to get past MHSAA Region 3-6A foe Hattiesburg High School (6-2, 3-2) Friday.

“They are very athletic,” head coach Lance Reed said. “They have several big-play receivers, and we have to execute on defense.”

Natchez currently sits at 3-1 in region play and tied with Oak Grove for second place, but Reed said at this point in the season, the standings do not mean much to his team.

“We just need to keep compiling wins,” he said.

Reed should not have to work too hard to get that message across to his players if they all share the mentality Jones takes into each contest.

“Every game we play is like a championship for us,” he said. “We just have to leave it all on the field every game.”

Natchez will return home to face Hattiesburg after the trip to Petal last week.

“We love playing at home,” Reed said. “We’re glad it’s here, and it’s a very important game for us to get back on track.”

Natchez (6-2, 3-1) will host Hattiesburg at 7 p.m. Friday.