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Natchez High earns first win, defeats Vicksburg High 34-32

NATCHEZ — The Natchez High School Bulldogs earned their first win of the season with a 34-32 victory over the Vicksburg High School Gators.

The game also marked the first win for Randy Craft as the head football coach at Natchez High.

“I’m excited about this first opportunity to get a Bulldog win inside this stadium,” Craft said. “I look forward to many more. It was a crazy game. I’m glad we won it and it was back-and-forth all game long. Coach McDaniel has a tough team at Vicksburg and we had to play tough all four quarters.”

DK McGruder sealed the game for the Bulldogs as he intercepted a pass thrown by Vicksburg Quarterback Ronnie Alexander at the end of the game.

“I was just seeing the ball going down and I was like, ‘I got to get it, I got to get it,’” McGruder said. “I went up and caught the football. It was a great feeling.”

Both Liondell and Traylon Minor also contributed to the Bulldogs’ first win of the season. Traylon had two rushing touchdowns in the game, one for 10 yards in the first quarter and the second for 31 yards in the fourth quarter with 1:15 left in the game. Traylon Minor said when he saw the end zone he started running for it. Liondell returned the second half kickoff for 85 yards for a touchdown.

“Traylon is a tough, hard-nosed player,” Craft said. “When he gets out onto the field, he is going to give everything he has.”

The Gators’ running game came up huge in the game as well. In total, Vicksburg ran for five touchdowns in the game.

“We have had those same holes against Warren Central and Biloxi,” said Todd McDaniel, Vicksburg High’s head coach. “Our running backs finally found the holes tonight. We made some changes with our personnel in the backfield with our quarterback moving to wingback. Laurence Sullivan, Shakori Regan and Channing Adam did a great job running the ball for us. They found holes in the Bulldogs’ defense tonight.”

Sullivan led the Gators with two rushing touchdowns, one for 11 yards and the other for 28 yards before Natchez scored their final touchdown.

Ronnie Alexander ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter while Regan ran for a 69-yard touchdown.

“I think we gave it our all and we put it all on the line,” Sullivan said. “It felt good to finally get on the scoreboard. Our running game saw huge improvements from last week’s game against Biloxi.”

Next week, the Natchez High Bulldogs’ (1-1) host Jefferson County High School. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday.