Wayne County rallies past Natchez High

Published 11:08 pm Friday, October 14, 2022

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WAYNESBORO — Natchez High School head coach Steven Davis Sr. was not a happy camper after his Bulldogs lost to the Wayne County War Eagles 33-12 last Friday night in an MHSAA Region 3-5A game.

But this time is not because of the way his team played. It was because of how the game was officiated throughout most of the game. And he added that this wasn’t the first time he wasn’t thrilled with the officiating crew.

“We played our most complete game to date this season. Our kids played hard. But the officiating was bad,” Davis said. “For every good play we made, a flag was thrown. We made a third down stop, they threw a flag. We made a fourth down stop, they threw a flag. We get a first down, they throw a flag. We travel over to West Jones and (now) to Wayne County and it’s the same crew.”

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Davis said there was no way that Natchez High could win the game when every good play his team made resulted in a penalty.

“That’s not fair to our kids. I’m very frustrated,” Davis said. “But I’m happy because of the effort they had. I’m super proud of my guys. They’re hurt because they left it all on the field. They played hard tonight. Tonight.”

Natchez High took a 6-0 lead on a long touchdown pass of between 80 and 85 yards from Kaden Walton to Demarrco Blanton midway through the first quarter. Wayne County (6-2, 4-0) took the lead on a 6-yard run by Aikireon Hopkins that Davis said was because of a penalty that kept the drive alive.

The War Eagles went into halftime up 10-6 after Kyle Clark’s 18-yard field goal with about 1:00 left in the second quarter. The Bulldogs retook the lead at 12-10 when Gary Bailey blocked a punt and Troy Jones returned it 10 yards for a touchdown with about nine minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Wayne County took the lead for good with less than a minute to go in the third quarter on a 21-yard TD run by Jack Evans, who added the two-point conversion run for an 18-12 lead. They would add a pair of short touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to cap off the win.

Natchez High (2-6, 0-4) plays host to South Jones High School for Senior Night at Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium next Friday at 7 p.m.