Bulldogs look to cling to third spot

Published 12:02 am Thursday, October 29, 2015

LAUREL — The Natchez High Bulldogs feel they are in a good position heading into Friday’s matchup with West Jones.

With a 3-2 mark in district play, Natchez is currently sitting in third in district 3-5A, holding a tie breaker over South Jones who is also 3-2.

Although the Bulldogs took a loss in last year’s matchup with West Jones, this year’s Mustangs team has been a near polar opposite.

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At 2-7, the Mustangs have struggled mightily this season and are on a five game losing skid. Last season, West Jones finished 7-4 overall and posted a 5-2 mark in district play.

However, Natchez head coach Henry Garner said he knows the Bulldogs can’t take the Mustangs lightly.

“This is the second half of the season and everybody is going to be fighting,” Garner said. “We’re going into their territory and they want to look good at home. They’ll come in planning to win this thing.”

With the loss of quarterback Neil McLaurin, who accounted for six touchdowns last year against Natchez, the West Jones offense has struggled to produce.

But what they have been able to do thus far has come by running the ball.

“They are going to have a good running game,” Garner said. “Everything they do on offense is orchestrated around the run.”

Leading the charge for the West Jones rushing attack is John Oliver, who has 586 rushing yards this season and four touchdowns.

The Bulldogs aren’t so bad running the football either. Last week against Wingfield, starting running back Tydarrius Terrell racked up 200 rushing yards and recorded a rushing touchdown.

“That was a blessing to see,” Garner said. “We’d been having a few problems with it, but I knew we had it in us. We just had to step up and make it happen. Hopefully, we can get it established again this week and it’ll open up our passing game.”

The Bulldogs only had to attempt 10 passes last week, and quarterback Chris Scott completed five of them for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bulldogs and Mustangs are scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.