Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2006
NATCHEZ &8212; Sometimes stats speak louder than words.
Natchez had 16 first downs. Port Gibson had four.
Natchez had 276 yards rushing. Port Gibson had negative-14.
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Natchez outgained Port Gibson by 398 total yards.
That was only at halftime.
Domination was the name of the game at Tom F. Williams Stadium in Natchez Friday night as the Bulldogs took it to Port Gibson in every way in a 70-0 laugher.
&8220;We executed in some areas really well,&8221; Natchez head coach Lance Reed said. &8220;It was good to see the team respond well to a real game situation. Consistency is the main thing we&8217;re working for.&8221;
The Bulldogs scored early and often in the win, and had three scores called back by penalties.
Jason Bruce was 7-of-9 passing for 164 yards and four touchdowns and rushed four times for 46 yards and three more in the win.
Bruce&8217;s favorite target on the night was Edward Johnson, who hauled in four catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns.
Bruce and Johnson connected on three of Natchez&8217;s first five touchdowns, highlighted by a 93-yard strike on a rollout with 11:37 remaining in the second quarter to put the Bulldogs ahead 34-0.
More fireworks followed in the second quarter as Latarus Frazer, who rushed for 158 yards on four carries, dashed through the middle of the Blue Wave line, cut outside and scored from 75 yards out to push the lead to 41-0.
When things seemed their darkest on the Port Gibson side, they only got worse, as a muffed kickoff saw a Blue Wave returner tackled in the end zone for a safety.
Bruce ran the ball in from 17 yards out a few plays later for a 49-0 lead.
Leading 56-0 at halftime, the Bulldogs received the second half&8217;s opening kickoff, and Andre Hayward scooped it up and took it 75 yards all the way for a score.
The Bulldog starters came in for one more drive and scored again when Bruce scampered 33 yards for a touchdown.
Reed said the primary reason for allowing his starters to remain in the game for so long was to keep players in game condition.
&8220;The first thing you think (when you&8217;re up 27-0 in the first quarter) is &8216;we don&8217;t want to get complacent,&8217;&8221; Reed said. &8220;That&8217;s the main thing. We can&8217;t lose focus. We&8217;ve got a long season ahead and we&8217;ve got to get our work in. We can&8217;t stop getting better.&8221;
After strong showings in the jamboree and the first game of the season, Reed said the competition can only get stronger, with a trip to Vicksburg coming up this week.
&8220;We&8217;ll see how we do,&8221; he said. &8220;We&8217;ve had two decent showings. We&8217;ve got a lot of mistakes to correct. Vicksburg is going to be a good team. They&8217;ve beaten us both years I&8217;ve been here. We&8217;re starting to work (today). We&8217;ve just got to get ready for Vicksburg.&8221;
The Bulldogs will take on Vicksburg in Vicksburg Friday night at 7:30.