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Natchez High attempts to upset No. 3 team in Class 5A

NATCHEZ — Natchez High Bulldogs will host the No. 3 ranked West Jones High Mustangs in Class 5A on Friday night for homecoming.

“We’re excited about this game on Friday, especially when it’s against one of the top ranked teams in the state of Mississippi,” Bulldogs Head Coach Roy Rigsby said about Friday’s game. “West Jones is a great opponent and we’re excited about the opportunity.”

In the Region 3-5A standings, the Bulldogs are in a tie with Brookhaven High School Panthers. The Bulldogs need the Panthers to lose this week in order to move up to a tie with the Mustangs. The Mustangs are in second place behind Laurel High School.

Rigsby said he made a miscalculation last week when he said the Bulldogs needed to win three out of the team’s four remaining games and that the Bulldogs actually only need one more win to secure a in the Class 5A playoffs after last Friday’s 30-12 win over Oak Forest.

Rigsby said it’s a good thing the Bulldogs are tied with the Brookhaven Panthers, since Natchez faces Brookhaven next week.

In the victory over Forest Hill last Friday, Rigsby said the win was a collective team effort.

“One thing about this season is that we have been bit by the injury bug,” Rigsby said. “The team needs the next man to step up in any position and give his best effort. It’s not one practice but it’s several practices that play in a team’s success. One of our successes is for our guys stepping up to play those positions they don’t normally have to play due to injuries.”

Rigsby said Trent Richardson is one of the players who have stepped up this season at tackle. In the game against Forest Hill, Richardson led the defense with three sacks.

In preparation for the game on Friday night, Richardson said he has studied the film from the Mustangs 24-14 win last Friday against Laurel High School.

“The Mustangs play aggressive and consistent,” Richardson said “They’re consistent because they do what their coach tells them to do. They don’t mess up.”

From the film, quarterback James Singleton said he observed the safety, a defensive back player, stands closer to the cornerbacks.

“I’m trying to throw the ball towards the middle of the field,” Singleton said. “The receivers just have to catch it. The linesmen have to give me enough time and we’ll be good. I’m trying to get my timing together on my throws with the routes.”

Friday night’s game against the Mustangs is homecoming. The Bulldogs won 21-14 over Forest Hill High School last season on homecoming.

“We know the challenge that West Jones is and I think the part I like the most of all is our kids are accepting the challenge,” Rigsby said. “All of the people who are coming for homecoming, we’re excited about them. We’re going to give our best effort.”

The game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium at Natchez High School.

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