Bulldogs go out in style with win over Rebs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 4, 2000

Senior quarterback Donald Butler had a combined 559 yards of total offense to lead the Natchez Bulldogs to a convincing 56-24 win over the Forest Hill Rebels in the Division 6-5A and regular season finale Friday night at Natchez High Stadium.

Natchez had an astounding 717 yards of total offense, 470 of them on the ground.

Butler completed eight of 12 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns and had 13 carries for 312 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

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&uot;The line blocked perfect. All I had to do was run,&uot; a tired but happy Butler said. &uot;I never thought the day would come because it seems like yesterday I was in ninth grade.

&uot;I wanted to make this day special.&uot;

&uot;We haven’t seen one like that in five years,&uot; said Natchez head coach Elbert &uot;Mo&uot; Lyles. &uot;You can’t replace him.&uot;

Butler indeed made it special as he led the Bulldogs to a 21-0 first-quarter lead with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Edwin Skipper and touchdown runs of 16 yards and one yard.

Skipper, a senior wide receiver, caught six passes for 218 yards.

Forest Hill got its first score of the game with 4:51 remaining in the second quarter on a 57-yard run off a reverse by Dangelo Lucas. The two-point conversion was no good.

Natchez then scored with 1:47 left in the quarter on a five-yard run by Butler as the Bulldogs took a 28-6 halftime lead.

Junior quarterback/kick returner Tyrone Good led off the second half for Natchez with a 74-yard kickoff return to the Rebels’ 25-yard line.

Three plays later, Chris McDonald scored from seven yards out for a 35-7 lead.

McDonald, a senior fullback, had 101 yards rushing on 13 carries.

But Forest Hill would not go away quietly, scoring three straight touchdowns in a nearly nine-minute stretch of the third and early fourth quarters.

Titus Williams scored on a 35-yard run and threw a 15-yard TD pass to Jimmy Cavett in the third quarter and Thurmond Rogers ran in from two yards out to cut Natchez’s lead to 35-24.

&uot;They outplayed us in the third quarter,&uot; Lyles said.

That would be as close as the Rebels would get as Natchez scored on a 17-yard pass from Butler to Leon Stewart, a 48-yard run by Butler and a 10-yard run by Good, who replace Butler late in the fourth quarter.

&uot;It was a great way to go out,&uot; Lyles said. &uot;It means a lot to me that the seniors won their last game here.&uot;

Brian Williams made all eight extra points for Natchez.

Senior defensive end Torey Groce led Natchez’s defense with 13 tackles and two sacks. Michael Williams and senior defensive back Ivan Dixon each had an interception.