Natchez stars from ’90s and 2000s play in flag football game
NATCHEZ — A collection of manila folders serving as a playbook, a pile of red, white and blue flags, a few “big guts” and a whole lot of good-fun trash talk were present Saturday at Tom F. Williams Memorial Field for the first Natchez alumni flag football game.
The game featured 1990s stars taking on those who played in the 2000s. Natchez head football coach Lance Reed played for the ’90s team, and on first glance he was worried about the outcome of Saturday afternoon’s contest.
“I’m just comparing the big guts out here,” Reed said. “There are a lot down here (pointing at the ’90s team). Well, let me go join the big guts.”
One man who wasn’t sporting a round stomach was Marco Minor, who sat quietly stretching while his teammates around him preceded to list what they would accomplish in the flag football game before they took the field.
Minor, who played at Mississippi State after getting All-State recognition at Natchez High School in 1995, 1997 and 1998, wore a big smile.
“It’s just so great to be back here,” Minor said.
“I haven’t touched this field in 10-plus years. This is a real great event.”
Clarence Parker, who lined up opposite of Minor in 1998 and also played at Mississippi State after Natchez High School, was ready to teach the younger generation a few moves on the gridiron.
“I think I can show them something,” Parker said. “I have to leave an impression.”
That’s exactly what the ’90s team did once the game commenced.
After Ivan Evans hit Barry White for the first touchdown of the game, the ’90s team went three-and-out, failing to pickup a yard.
The following series saw Minor catch a long pass from Evans.
“Just like ’98!” The 90’s bench erupted.
The 2000s squad had too much pride to get steamrolled on a field they once called home though.
They tied the game at 14 after Nick Brooks passed to Jeremy Fakes, who scampered into the end zone.
“We’ve been waiting for this since graduation,” Fakes said.
The game plan in place by the ’90s proved beneficial, as the ’90s team scored the next two touchdowns by running routes underneath the coverage. The final tally between the two decades saw the older generation win 28-14.
Hugs were shared before and after the game between players, coaches and classmates. Reed was proud of the former players for getting the event together and even designing shirts with numbers on them for the players.
“We’re all so happy to be here,” Reed said. “The timing couldn’t be better with the girls winning State last night. We’re in heaven at Natchez High School right now.”