Natchez utilizes run game, surges to district win

Published 1:27 am Saturday, September 23, 2017

With a quarterback who is known for his accuracy and efficiency, some might say it’s impractical to not use the skills of Natchez High School senior Chris Scott.

But, Friday night the Bulldogs didn’t need to.

Natchez (4-1, 1-0 in region MHSSA 3-5A) had 12 different players carry the ball, accumulating 308 yards on the ground in its 31-6 victory over Wingfield.

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“It’s kind of odd for Natchez,” NHS coach Roy Rigsby said. “We know we have some running backs. We wanted to show their skillset and give them an opportunity to run. We discussed it with Chris, and we want to just keep him upright. That means running the ball.”

Natchez scored all of its points in the first half, beginning with a 1-yard scoring run from EJ Woods. He added another 1-yard score midway through the second quarter to lead the Bulldogs.

Jatavis Melton scored on a 6-yard run, and the remaining touchdown for Natchez came on a 1-yard run from Javontae Davis.

“That was the plan all along to come out as strong as we could. I’m proud of the way they came out,” Rigsby said.

The Bulldog defense did its part in the victory, holding Wingfield to just more than 150 yards of total offense. It gave up the Falcons’ only score late in the fourth quarter.

Richard Wright aided the defensive efforts by blocking and recovering a punt following Wingfield’s first possession of the game.

“All I saw was the ball, and I just had to go get it,” Wright said. “I got two hands on it, and it felt great. They couldn’t hold me.”

Rigsby said the block was all a part of perfecting every aspect of his team.

“That (play) was coach Steve Davis all the way. He saw it on film, and we executed it in practice and then in the game,” Rigsby said. “It was a great call on his part — no problem at all.”

JaMichael Mackey added a fumble recovery for the Natchez defense, and Juan Boteo also kicked a 21-yard field goal in the win.

Rigsby said he was pleased to let many younger players see action during the second half Friday night, but would have liked to see them score.

“We wanted to make sure they got some experience. We know they play JV, but to have them get that on Friday night in the varsity setting means a lot to them,” Rigsby said. “We are trying to get all of (the district wins). Now, if we just put these four quarters together we will be alright. We should have no problem if we come out and do what we are supposed to do.”

Natchez is set to visit West Jones next Friday night.