Hattiesburg too much for Natchez to handleBy Stan Caldwell
Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 6, 2001
Saturday, October 06, 2001
Special to The Natchez Democrat
HATTIESBURG – Natchez High held its own against Hattiesburg
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High Friday night, but still came up a bit short, as the Tigers
won 37-21 in a Region 3-5A contest.
Natchez tailback Brian Williams ran virtually at will against
the Tigers, racking up 198 yards on 28 carries.
&uot;He ran real hard and stayed behind his pads,&uot; Hattiesburg
head coach Clemon Ector said. &uot;I wasn’t totally dissatisfied
with our effort on defense, but we’ve got to work on our tackling.&uot;
Through the first five games of the season, Hattiesburg High
earned a formidable reputation for its passing attack.
Opposing defenses in future games might want to pay some attention
to the Tigers’ ground game.
Hattiesburg fullback Josh Barnes, forced into the tailback’s
role because of injury, stepped right in Friday. Hattiesburg evened
its record at 3-3, but more importantly, climbed to 2-0 in the
region. Natchez dropped to 0-5 and 0-2.
&uot;We felt coming in like we’d be able to run the football,&uot;
Ector said. &uot;We came out, stuck it in there pretty good and
found we had some running room. So we took what they gave us.&uot;
Barnes stepped in for starting tailback Curtis Hayes, who was
suffering from an injury to his left hand, and the Tigers never
missed a beat. The junior picked up 177 yards on 24 carries and
scored three touchdowns.
&uot;I had a good game, but I couldn’t do it without the line,&uot;
said Barnes. &uot;My eyes got real big when I saw some of the
holes I had to run through.&uot;
Although quarterback Martin Hankins had an off game, completing
just 11 of 26 passes, he still threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns.
The first came on Hattiesburg’s first possession after a Natchez
punt. Hankins found wide receiver James Hollingsworth wide open
down the left sideline and delivered the pass for a 76-yard scoring
play. Natchez tied the game on its second possession, with Broderick
Allen scoring from 5 yards out. But the Tigers regained the lead
for good by grinding out a seven-play, 52-yard drive, with Barnes
getting the score from 7 yards out.
Barnes extended Hattiesburg’s lead to 21-7 early in the second
quarter on a 14-yard scoring run.
However, an interception off Hankins late in the period set
up the Bulldogs for a quick five-play drive, with quarterback
Leon Stewart passing to Jeremiah Green for a 10-yard scoring play.
That made it 21-14 with 1:24 to play in the first half.
That led to the critical play of the game. Working quickly,
Hankins drove the Tigers to the Bulldog 33 with four seconds to
play. Instead of a Hail Mary, though, the Tigers crossed Natchez
up and Hankins fired a strike to Hollingworth who carried it in
for the back-breaking touchdown.
&uot;They were biting on the hitch, the short route,&uot;
said Hollingsworth, who caught four passes for 154 yards. &uot;It
was a good throw, so all I had to do was catch it and carry it
&uot;We were trying to bait them into into it,&uot; added
Hankins. &uot;The safety was playing in the middle of the field,
and we threw it to the side and it was wide open.&uot;