Bulldogs fall short

Published 12:54 am Sunday, January 27, 2008

NATCHEZ — The task for the Natchez High Bulldogs was indeed a tough one going into their Division 6-5A and regular-season finale against the Terry Bulldogs — win by four goals to become the division champion due to a tiebreaker.

Unfortunately, that would not be the case on a cloudy and cold Saturday afternoon Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium as the visiting Bulldogs from Terry defeated the host Bulldogs from Natchez High 5-0 to win the division title.

Natchez High, which finished the regular season with a 11-4-1 overall record and in second place in Division 6-5A with a 4-2 record, will travel to Brandon to take on the Division 5-5A champion Bulldogs in the first round of the Class 5A South State Playoffs 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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“It was a rotten day. Changing the game to today I had 13 players here. Our goalkeeper (George Bates) showed up at the last second. We were kind of shorthanded,” Bulldogs head coach Dennis Hogue said. “Terry outclassed us.”

Hogue added that Terry passed the ball better than his team did and that Terry’s players communicated better throughout the game.

“The field conditions were horrible; almost comical,” Hogue said. “Terry is a good group of kids. These guys are soccer players just like us. Sometimes you get your butt kicked and that’s what happened to us.”

Terry could have run up the score even more during a 10-minute stretch in the second half during which Natchez High couldn’t get the ball out of its own end of the field, but Davis made one spectacular save after another.

“It’s cold. It’s wet. His fingers were probably numb,” Hogue said. “He was easily the player of the game for us.”

Terry, which finished 6-0 in division play, will host Division 5-5A runner-up Meridian in a Class 5A South State first-round game on Tuesday.

In the varsity girls’ game, Terry finished undefeated and won the Division 6-5A championship with a 4-0 win over Natchez High.

“We were down four starters because of a band competition and work schedules. It was a quick reschedule from last night to this afternoon,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Lena Yarbrough said. “The field was real muddy. It was insanely muddy.”

Despite the loss and having fewer players to work with against a good Terry team, Yarbrough said she was pleased with her team’s effort.

“They played better than the first time we played Terry. It was hard for them to stay on their feet. It was fun. They had a good time.”

Natchez High (4-9) finished second in division play with a 2-2 mark and will travel to Hattiesburg to take on Division 5-5A and defending Class 5A State champion Oak Grove in the first round of the Class 5A South State Playoffs either on Tuesday or Wednesday and Terry will host Division 5-5A runner-up Brandon.