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Warren Central capitalizes on Natchez High miscues

Warren Central’s Curtis Ross muscles the ball down the field against Natchez High School’s Keenan Johnson and and Demon Clark. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)
Warren Central’s Curtis Ross muscles the ball down the field against Natchez High School’s Keenan Johnson and and Demon Clark. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — The return of Anthony Robinson was less than satisfying for the Natchez Bulldog Friday night as they lost to Warren Central 27-6 at home.

John Ferguson rushed for 124 yards for the Bulldogs, with Robinson completing 17 of 28 passes for 99 yards with three interceptions and a fumble.

For the Vikings, Curtis Ross tallied 114 yards on 17 carries, and Carlisle Koestler completed five of 11 passes for 20 yards.

The game seemed to start off smoothly for Robinson, who went 7-7 in his first drive at quarterback since returning from his team suspension.

At the 7:24 mark, Robinson completed a touchdown pass to Sidney Davis for a 6-0 lead. The extra point was no good.

Natchez High School’s Lee Jackson tries to break free from Warren Central’s Devontae Wilson’s tackle Friday night during the Bulldog’s 27-6 loss to the Vikings. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)
Natchez High School’s Lee Jackson tries to break free from Warren Central’s Devontae Wilson’s tackle Friday night during the Bulldog’s 27-6 loss to the Vikings. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

The early sign of offensive power from Robinson spoke too soon as everything went downhill from there.

At the 4:32 mark of the first quarter, Robinson fumbled, and Warren Central’s Damon Stamps picked it up in the end zone to even the score 6-6 before Jade Pollock made the extra point.

The second quarter showed no promise for the Bulldogs as Robinson threw his second interception on the first play of the Bulldogs’ possession.

Cedric Harris picked off the pass for the Vikings and ran it back 27 yards for a touchdown. Pollock kicked the extra point to give Warren Central a 14-6 lead going into half time.

The Bulldogs had plenty of time to make a come back but failed to do so on various opportunities.

Warren Central still had a lot of firepower left in them as Curtis Ross rushed in for a 1-yard touchdown at the 7:49 mark of the third quarter. Warren Central missed the extra point.

Now down 20-6, Natchez dug itself in a deeper hole when Robinson threw his third interception of the night at the Vikings’ 29-yard line.

Damon Stamps forced the turnover again for Warren Central and got as far as the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line before being brought down.

Natchez played solid defense and didn’t allow the Vikings to score from at the 10-yard line.

But they couldn’t stop the Vikings from scoring one more time in the fourth quarter when Marcus Ragan rushed for a 68-yard touchdown with Pollock kicking the extra point to finish the game 27-6.

Warren Central head coach Josh Morgan said he was pleased with his team playing well in a hostile environment.

“This place has been really hard to win at,” he said. “Coach Reed and his staff did a wonderful job. It was a big win for us.”

Morgan said his defense, especially Damon Stamps, stepped up and made the difference in the game.

“We preach turnovers and trying to turn defense into offense, and our team stiffened up for us,” Morgan said. “I was proud to how they responded.”

Natchez head coach Lance Reed said his team took a few steps back in their performance Friday.

“We got a lot to fix,” Reed said. “We had a lot of poor execution and turning the ball over. I give all the credit to Warren Central, they kicked our butts out there.”

Natchez High and Warren Central both have a bye week next week.