Bulldogs going to 5A playoffs

Published 1:04 am Saturday, November 1, 2008

JACKSON — Natchez High head coach Lance Reed was hoping the third time would be the charm when his Bulldogs took on winless Wingfield Friday night.

For the third year in a row, a berth in the Class 5A playoffs was on the line for Natchez High against the team that has been the biggest thorn in the side of the Bulldogs in Region 3-5A the previous two seasons — the Wingfield Falcons.

And even though Wingfield went into this game with an 0-9 record, Reed knew his Bulldogs could not take them lightly. And they didn’t as they rolled to a 31-6 win over the Falcons to secure their first playoff berth since the 1997 season.

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“They’re really happy. This group has gone through a lot. They worked hard,” Reed said.

Natchez High improved to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in region play while Wingfield fell to 0-10 overall and 0-6 in region play.

The first half was a defensive battle. The first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie and Natchez High only led 12-6 at halftime. Joel Davis scored on a 22-yard run and Javon Washington scored on a 2-yard run.

“First half we sputtered a little bit,” Reed said. “Second half, we got going a little better.”

The Bulldogs pulled away in the second half thanks to three touchdown passes by Washington, who completed 12-of-24 passes for 231 yards with no interceptions.

He threw a pair of 25-yard scoring passes to Rico Richardson and the third was a 12-yarder to Nick Brooks.

“Javon made some really good throws. The plays that he made were the plays that were executed on our part,” Reed said.

The Bulldogs’ running game was an integral part of their win as they finished with 191 total yards on the ground and 422 yards of total offense. Davis had 13 carries for 85 yards and Willie Newman added 75 yards on eight carries. Richardson caught five passes for 164 yards.

But before the playoffs start, the Bulldogs still have one more game left in Region 3-5A – a home game next Friday at 7 p.m. against an up-and-down Hattiesburg team.