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Natchez High hosts Wesson Attendance Center for first game of 2020 football season

NATCHEZ — Randy Craft will make his head-coaching debut for the Natchez High School Bulldogs against the Wesson Attendance Center Cobras on Friday night at Natchez High.

“I’m ready to see what our players can do with a good opportunity to play under the lights against Wesson,” Craft said.

On Wednesday, Natchez Adams School District Athletics via social media issued safety guidelines for fans to follow ahead of Friday’s home game. Alphaka Moore, Natchez Adams School District athletic director, stated that two tickets are allowed to be purchased from each participant of the football team, band, dance and cheer teams; masks are to be worn by fans at all times throughout the stadium, each ticket holder will have their temperature checked at the entrance gate prior to entering and only 10 fans are allowed at a time at the concession stands.

Three Natchez High players to watch in the game are Kyreek Murray, Trent Richardson and Joshua Thomas.

Murray is the starting quarterback after James Singleton graduated from Natchez in 2019. Murray threw for 232 yards on 21 attempts last season for the Bulldogs.

Trent Richardson, defensive tackle for the Bulldogs, led the team with two sacks and was sixth with 33 tackles last season.

“I have worked on staying low and being fast to prepare for Friday’s game,” Richardson said. “I feel confident in getting a sack on the quarterback from the practices leading up to the game.”

Joshua Thomas, a cornerback for Natchez, had one interception for the Bulldogs’ squad for second place, behind Liondell Minor with two interceptions.

“I feel like the coaches have put me in better positions to intercept the ball and I do not want to let them down,” Thomas said.

The Cobras come into Friday’s game after going 8-5 in the 2019 season and winning the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A-Region 7. Jeremy Loy, Cobras head coach, boasts a 22-24 overall record in five years of coaching at Wesson. The Cobras threw for 2,672 yards and rushed for 1,819 yards in the 2019 season.

Two keys to victory for Natchez is stopping both the passing and running game of Wesson. Will Loy, quarterback for Wesson, led the Cobras with 2,495 passing yards and 25 passing touchdowns. Orlando Smith, a running back for Wesson, ran for 827 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns as a junior last season. Craft said he has included more ball drills in practices this week to prepare the Bulldogs for the Cobras’ passing.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Friday at Natchez High School.