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Natchez High School gets needed win at home

Natchez High School receiver Kevantaye Caston breaks the tackles of two Jefferson County High School players Friday night at Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Natchez High School receiver Kevantaye Caston breaks the tackles of two Jefferson County High School players Friday night at Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School and Jefferson County High School both came into Friday night’s game with a chip on their shoulder after losing their season openers.

But the Bulldogs were determined that they would not leave Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium 0-2.

Natchez High came out like a completely new team, beating Jefferson County convincingly, 49-8.

“We needed one,” Natchez head coach Lance Reed said. “We executed fairly well, and we’re just excited to get a victory.”

John Ferguson rushed for 103 yards on 12 carries, Sidney Davis added 92 yards on 12 carries and Tydarrius Terrell tallied 71 yards on nine carries. Davis also went 9-for-15 with 149 passing yards.

The Bulldogs were aggressive from the start, scoring on a Ferguson 3-yard touchdown with just more than a minute scratched off the clock.

NHS quarterback Sidney Davis prepares for a handoff. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)
NHS quarterback Sidney Davis prepares for a handoff. (Justin Sellers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Jarell Morris’s extra-point kick was good to give Natchez the early 7-0 lead.

The Tigers wouldn’t let the Bulldogs go up 14 in the first quarter as DeQuatarrius Jackson caught an interception at their own 5-yard line.

But what seemed like a defensive spark for the Tigers just put them in bad field position against a strong defense, as quarterback Rasahard Brown was sacked in the end zone for a safety.

Now ahead 9-0, the Bulldogs went into the second quarter showing no mercy by scoring 19 points.

Davis powered the second quarter as he had the first two touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Both were 4-yard rushes at the 11:36 and 5:56 mark, respectively.

Terrell scored the last touchdown of the quarter on a 5-yard rush.

The Tigers were able to get to the Bulldogs’ 25-yard line in the second, but Lee Jackson didn’t allow them to get any further as he made an interception with 24 seconds left in the half to head into the locker room 28-0.

“The defense showed up tonight and played fairly well, and we were pleased with that,” Reed said.

Natchez’s first and only punt didn’t come until the 5:05 mark of the third quarter, and the Bulldogs’ Jadarrius McNeil made up for it with a takeaway at their 45-yard line.

Natchez scored once more on a connection from Davis to Earon Brown for a 18-yrd touchdown pass.

The game was far from over for the Bulldogs as Davis was subbed out for Kevantaye Caston, and Natchez kept putting up numbers.

At the 9:52 mark, Terrell scored his second touchdown on a 12-yard rush.

Just six minutes later, Walter Turner made the Bulldogs’ last touchdown of the game on a 10-yard rush.

Jefferson County didn’t give up as Dominique Hammitte scored the Tigers’ only touchdown on a 30-yard play. Hammitte also kicked the extra point with 43 seconds on the clock before Natchez let the clock run out.

“(Hammitte’s) one of the seniors on the ball club,” Jefferson County head coach James Herrington said. “He didn’t want to see the score end like that against one of our most fierce rivals, and he played to the end.”

Reed said he was pleased with the number of running backs that put up big numbers Friday.

“It’s exciting to have those guys out there that can make plays,” Reed said. “They’re playmakers, and we have to use them to the best of our ability.”

Herrington put emphasis on defense in the Tigers’ last week of practice, but he said the team didn’t seem to evolve much since their season opener.

“Unfortunately, this wasn’t the week we rebounded from the mistakes we made last weeks,” Herrington said. “The best team won. The team that made the less mistakes, capitalized on their scoring opportunities, played solid defense won.”

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