Bulldogs look for two wins

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, September 12, 2007

NATCHEZ — Both the Natchez High Bulldogs and the Wilkinson County Wildcats will be looking for their second straight win of the season when the two teams battle each other in Woodville Friday at 7 p.m.

The big question going into this game will be whether junior quarterback Rico Richardson will play. Richardson suffered a wrist injury in the Bulldogs’ 30-27 loss to Jefferson County in the season-opener.

“It’s questionable. Right now, it’s still up in the air,” Natchez High head coach Lance Reed said. “It’s a matter of the doctors giving him the OK. He hasn’t gotten the proper clearance.”

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If Richardson cannot play, the Bulldogs will go with freshman quarterback Javon Washington, who had a spectacular performance in their 29-23 overtime win over Gulfport. Washington completed 16 of 28 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.

“Javon is a freshman, but we feel comfortable with him at quarterback,” Reed said. “He’s still a freshman, so he still has a lot of improvement to make.”

Wilkinson County won its first game since the end of the 2005 season when it scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to defeat Class 2A Newton High 20-12. But this week will be much different when the Class 3A Wildcats host the Class 5A Bulldogs.

“We know they were going to be real high about it, but we don’t have long to celebrate it,” Wilkinson County head coach John Moore said. “We’ve got a rivalry coming up Friday in Natchez High.”

The Wildcats did not suffer any major injuries in their win over the Tigers, “but we had some little nicks,” Moore said.

Moore said preparing for whichever quarterback the Bulldogs have under center will be tough to do. “They’ve got two different styles of quarterbacks,” he said. “I don’t know which quarterback they’ll be with, so we’ll have to be prepared for both. We’re just going to have to get our pass defense ready.”

Reed said Wilkinson County’s team speed and size, as well as quarterback Javarius Jenkins, could present a big challenge for his defense. He noted that his defense cannot give up the big plays that it has against Jefferson County and Gulfport.

“They’ve got a quarterback who can throw the ball,” Reed said. “They’ve always been known to be a physical team that plays hard. We’ll be ready for a fight this Friday. We have to make tackles and make plays when they’re there to make.”

As far as the Wildcats’ offense is concerned, Moore said he would like to see Jenkins throw the ball more to attack the Bulldogs’ pass defense. “It seems everybody’s going to have some success passing against them,” he said. “Our quarterback its going to have to step it quite a bit this week. And the receivers.”

While Moore said the outcome of the game could come down to his team executes the game plan and special teams, he also noted that his defense will have to create turnovers and probably return one for a touchdown for the Wildcats to have a chance.

Reed said the game will come down to the team that makes the fewest mistakes and plays a complete game on both sides of the ball.