Bulldogs pick up district victory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2007

NATCHEZ — After Natchez’s disappointing loss to a Loyd Star team they felt they should have beaten last week, Bulldog coach Dennis Hogue went back to basics with his team, concentrating on passing and working together in practice.

Mission accomplished, as Natchez responded with a 5-1 win over Jim Hill in an important region home game Friday night.

Earlier, the Natchez girls defeated Jim Hill 5-0. No other information was available from the game.

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“I was well pleased with tonight’s game,” Hogue said of the boys effort. “I had some concerns because in our last game we were ball-hogging and greedy. In practice this week, we worked on passing and trapping and didn’t even work on shooting. So I was pleased to see them control the ball and move it down the field.”

Natchez got on the board in the eighth minute of the game when Ross Smith scored off an assist from Dustin Adams.

Smith was just getting warmed up at that point.

The Bulldog striker scored another goal in the 19th minute on a breakaway, again with an assist from Adams.

Smith punched his third goal in from the right side off the box after a nice throw in from Josh West in the 25th minute.

Natchez took a 3-0 lead into halftime.

When the two teams came back after the break it was Jim Hill that lit up the scoreboard first, when Zachary Patton scored with an assist from Colby Michael in the fifth minute.

However, Natchez answered a few minutes later when West took advantage of a bad clearance attempt by the Tigers and pounded one in the net from the top of the box in the 12th minute.

Smith then closed the scoring in the 25th minute when he took a throw in from Paul Belton and deposited it in the back of the net from the right wing.

Natchez goalkeeper George Bates had a good night for the Bulldogs as well, turning away five shots in six attempts.

The Bulldogs improved to 5-2-1 overall and 2-0 in district play with the victory, which made Hogue a happy coach.

“We felt confident we would play well tonight,” Hogue said. “But after last week’s loss we knew we could get into a slump if we didn’t play team ball. But we did that tonight.”