Ailing Bulldogs to face No.3 Brandon

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

The Natchez High Bulldogs need to try to bounce back from a 42-6 loss to Meridian last Friday, but it will not be easy as they go on the road for a Division 6-5A battle with the third-ranked Brandon High Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Brandon (8-1, 5-0) is coming off a convincing 38-10 victory over then 10th-ranked Wayne County, the same team that routed Natchez 61-24 on Oct. 13.

Natchez is 2-7 overall and 1-4 in district.

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&uot;Practice has been going pretty good this week,&uot; said Natchez head coach Elbert &uot;Mo&uot; Lyles. &uot;It’s Friday night that concerns me.&uot;

To make matters worse, seven Bulldogs players are out for Friday night’s game: tight end Terry Jones, defensive tackles Derek Jarvis, Michael Woods and Brandon Dungan, nose guard Joey Mitchell, starting fullback Chris McDonald and backup fullback Rychar Nelson.

Lyles said Brian Williams will play at fullback, Troy Stewart and Bryan Woods on the defensive line and freshman Charles Johnson at the backup linebacker spot.

Brandon runs a four-man front on defense and a multiple offense, but their base offense is the pro-set, Lyles said.

&uot;They have the top back in the state in Jerious Norwood, who averages about 140 yards a game,&uot; he said. &uot;Their quarterback, Dale Purvis, does a good job of throwing the ball. They have a real balanced offense.&uot;

&uot;They’re probably the biggest team we’ll face all season,&uot; Lyles said.

&uot;They just play good as a team,&uot; he said.

He said the Bulldogs’ goals for the rest of the season are simple: &uot;Play hard every play and be committed. As for the morale of the team, nobody likes to have a losing season and miss the playoffs.&uot;

&uot;But it’s important that we perform to the best of our abilities against Brandon and Forest Hill.&uot;