Bulldogs to play Jefferson County Tigers in first game of season

Published 12:25 am Friday, August 21, 2009

NATCHEZ — The Natchez High football team wants to get off to a fast start this season, so what better way to begin than playing an arch-rival?

That is the scenario as the Bulldogs will host the Jefferson County Tigers at Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium at 7:30 tonight to kick off the 2009 season.

With Natchez coming off a big year in 2008, coach Lance Reed knows his team must play its best right off the bat if it wants to get off to a fast start in 2009.

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“We know that our hands are going to be full,” Reed said. “Every year, it’s a big rivalry for us to play (Jefferson County). We know they’ll be extremely physical, and will definitely play hard.”

The Class 3A Tigers defeated Natchez two years ago, but the Bulldogs got their revenge last year in a 42-14 victory.

Reed said playing a quality opponent in Jefferson County will only make his team better as the season goes along.

“We’re going in playing a team we consider a big rival, and we want to win it,” Reed said. “We’re going to do everything we can to be ready, and that will only make us better.”

While this will be Natchez’s first regular season game of the year, the Bulldogs did play Class 3A member Amite County in the Natchez High Jamboree last Friday night, taking a 14-0 victory.

Reed said playing in the jamboree allowed the team to see things that they need to work on.

“We definitely have a lot of things to improve on, watching the scrimmage last week,” Reed said. “Jamborees give us a chance to see where we are. It’s a good measuring stick to see what we need to work on and gives us an opportunity to learn something, even if it’s very small.”

And one of the things Reed learned about his team is that the offensive and defensive line must play well in order for the Bulldogs to be successful.

“We definitely put a lot on our line play,” Reed said. “The offensive and defensive line need to step up and play on a higher level. They will be the backbone of our success this year.”

And Reed said he wants to get the year off to a good start with a win over the rival Tigers.

“This is definitely an important game,” Reed said. “We’re coming back with a new team and have a lot of expectations as far as continuing the success we had last year. We really want to keep that going.”