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;