Bulldogs ready for Laurel

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Natchez High Bulldogs were in desperate need of a win last Friday, and they got one at South Jones.

Now, the Bulldogs are looking to keep that momentum going as they welcome a dangerous Laurel team to town for homecoming.

“We know their quarterback is ranked in the top five in the state; and they have one of the best wide receivers and linebackers in the state, too,” Natchez head coach Melvin Pete said. “All around, they are a great team, full of athletes all over the field. You don’t want them to show up and play, and right now, they will come in with a chip on their shoulder because they are coming off a loss to Pearl River.”

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The loss to Pearl River was the second of the year for the Golden Tornadoes (5-2), matching their mark from last season where they finished 12-2. Laurel fell to eventual state champion Picayune, one game away from playing for a state championship.

But the Bulldogs aren’t letting that scare them away. After thrashing South Jones 56-14, Pete said his team is back on track.

“It meant a lot,” said Pete of the win. “It shows we can still be together. It means a lot, too, because we are coming into homecoming and a big opponent.”

Pete, like many other coaches, is especially concerned with this game falling as the Bulldogs’ homecoming.

“With the festivities and everything else, it is one of those things you hate to see come and glad when it is gone,” he said. “You have so much to come and pull your kids away from you. It lets you know you have some quality guys, and you hope it’ll be something different.”

Pete also said that quarterback Chris Scott will give things a go in practice this week as he tries to recover from a thumb injury he suffered against West Jones.

“I think he’ll be back,” Pete said. “We didn’t get an opportunity to look Monday, but we’ll see.”

The frontrunners to fill in if Scott can’t go are Anthony Robinson and Sidney Davis.

Robinson had a big day against South Jones, completing 10 of his 15 passes for 192 yards. Davis also got in the mix going 2-of-5 for 89 yards with a touchdown.

“We aren’t scared to put him back there,” said Pete of Robinson. “As the season goes on, we noticed that all three of them can get the job done. Really, the ultimate go-to guy is Sidney, because we can play him everywhere.”

Davis will also have a big task on defense, dealing with a tall Laurel receiving core.

“That is what we have done in the past, put Sidney on the best receiver,” Pete said. “But we are getting a little better in the secondary and matching up our people with theirs. We are playing against a grown man, and we’ll have to double cover him and pick our spots.”

If Natchez was to get the win Friday, Pete said it wouldn’t only be big for the team this season, it would also be an impactful win for the program.

“We are still in the beginning stages, but the Laurel’s and Brookhaven’s have been there,” Pete said. “Natchez has been there, but people don’t have that fear anymore. That mystique is gone. We’re trying to establish ourselves and be in the upper echelon of programs in our district. If we can prove we are there, we are going to be one of the toughest teams to play.”