Freshman running back stepping into big role for NHS
NATCHEZ — Natchez High School will play their second consecutive rivalry game after losing a close season opener to Wilkinson County 34-32 last week on the road.
But Friday, the Bulldogs will get a chance to redeem themselves in the same scenario, as they go head-to-head with Jefferson County High School to even their record out to a respectable 1-1.
Natchez head coach Lance Reed said his offense did some great things for them against Wilkinson County, and he looks for them to continue their success.
“I was pleased with the offensive efforts, they executed well,” Reed said.
Natchez got a spark of energy from Tydarrius Terrell last week, and Reed said Terrell utilized the playing time he was given.
“It’s rare a freshman gets that much playing time,” Reed said. “He did well to say he’s just in ninth grade.
“His poise as a freshman is commendable He’s going to have a bright future.”
Terrell believes his first game as a Bulldog didn’t go as he planned,.
“I think I had a lack of focus,” Terrell said. “I did a lot of crazy cutbacks, and I wasn’t getting some of the plays right.”
But Terrell said it motivates him to work even harder as the season progresses.
“I’m going to practice harder and work on the plays better,” he said.
With Terrell stepping up on offense, it takes the pressure off of other offensive threats like Malik Byrd, John Ferguson, Aaron Brown and Lee Jackson.
“He’s a portion of our offense. We have a lot of guys that are really important to what we do,” Reed said. “He’s a piece of many weapons we have.”
As much as Reed is proud of his depth on the offensive side, he said he still must put more emphasis on the importance of defense. Against Wilkinson County, the Bulldogs allowed 373 rushing yards compared to their 227.
“We can’t give up those type of running yards again,” Reed said.
Reed will be putting his Bulldogs to work as they prepare for another tough game against the Tigers.
“We’re going to work on the basics,” Reed said. “We stress tackling and then fundamentals of being more physical.”
Jefferson County is coming off of a tough 38-20 loss to South Pike High School in their season opener and head coach James Herrington said the Tigers are looking for an early season momentum booster against Natchez.
With a young team, Herrington said confidence means everything for them to perform well.
“We’re going through some growing pains right now,” Herrington said. “We have quite a few young guys that are first time starters. It would be a big boost to our guy’s confidence to get a win against a 5A team.”
Herrington said the upside to last week’s loss was he was able to point out every mistake the Tigers made, and this week has been about crossing those mistakes off the list.
“We made a list of all the things we did wrong last game and we told the guys that we can’t make those same mistakes,” he said. “If we make a mistake Friday, let it let it not be a mistake on that list.”
One of the biggest mistakes Herrington said they have to improve on was their penalties.
“We had about 100 yards of penalties,” he said. “We had a 90-yard touchdown reception brought back on a clip; same with a 65-yard touchdown,” he said. “Not only were those scoring plays. But they were big momentum plays.”
Herrington said a lot of rookie mistakes were made last week, but he is counting on his experienced players like Fredrick Brown to step up.
“He’s one of the most experienced linemen on both offense and defense,” he said. “He’s asserted himself as that force.”