Natchez High looks to get road victory

Published 12:37 am Friday, October 22, 2010

NATCHEZ — After an 0-2 start to Region 3-6A play, the Natchez Bulldogs find themselves back in the thick of the playoff race after two consecutive wins.

But both of those wins were at home. Now, the Bulldogs will have to get a road victory if they want to keep their playoff hopes strong.

Natchez (6-2, 2-2) will travel to face Terry (4-4, 2-2) at 7 tonight in a pivotal region contest for both teams.

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“It’s tough to go on the road and win in district,” Natchez head coach Lance Reed said. “Terry is a team that is capable of being dangerous. We have to slow down their running game and their big-play threats.”

Both teams have the same record in region play and the winner of tonight’s game takes a big step forward to claiming the No. 3 seed in the region.

The loser will have to fight for the No. 4 seed with Hattiesburg and Brandon.

Terry has region wins over Jim Hill (42-20) and Wingfield (14-13) and losses to Brandon (33-14) and Oak Grove (41-7).

Natchez lost to Meridian and Oak Grove to start region play but defeated Brandon 24-17 two weeks ago and blasted Jim Hill 52-6 on homecoming last week.

The weakness of the Natchez offense this year has been ball security, but that greatly improved last week in the win over Jim Hill.

And that will need to continue tonight for the Bulldogs to walk out of Terry with a win, Reed said.

“Our offense is going to have to play mistake-free and play efficiently,” Reed said. “If that happens, we have a good chance of winning the game.”

But one thing Reed doesn’t have to worry about his players doing is panicking.

The Bulldogs were in the exact same position last year in having to win their last four games to make the playoffs.

They did it, and then won a first-round playoff game, so Reed knows they can do it again.

“I think it’s just a routine thing for us now,” Reed said. “We’ve been in this position before so this is nothing new for them. It’s not a scary situation. It’s something we’ve accepted and deal with. We’ve faced the facts and now we’ve got to go out and respond.”