Natchez trounced in Meridian

Published 12:55 am Saturday, September 24, 2011

MERIDIAN — No team wants to say goodbye to an undefeated season, but if you must tally in the “L” column it had better be to a great team.

And Natchez High walked away from Friday night’s 49-0 shellacking in Meridian knowing they’d been beat by one of the best.

“We got beat very badly by a better team tonight. They outplayed us in every aspect of the game tonight,” Natchez High head coach Lance Reed said. “They’re strong and well-coached and they totally dominated us. Offensively, they did a little of everything.”

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The polls before the game confirmed what Reed said after — Meridian is among the top teams in the state.

The Bulldogs could not get any kind of rhythm going on offense and Meridian’s defense had a lot to do with that in the Region 3-6A opener for both teams. NHS finished with just five first downs and just 115 yards of total offense.

Meridian (5-0, 1-0) also intercepted two Derrian Johnson passes and forced Natchez High into eight punts. Most of those statistics have rarely happened in coach Reed’s seven-plus years with the Bulldogs.

“They played a basic defense we usually see,” Reed said.

Johnson completed 7 of 19 passes for just 42 yards. Larry Chatman had 11 carries for 28 yards and Jermiah Woods had two receptions for 13 yards.

Natchez High (4-1, 0-1) will look to rebound when it hosts Terry in Region 3-6A action at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.