McComb shuts out Natchez, senior delivers lone bright point

Published 11:26 pm Friday, September 1, 2023

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MCCOMB — Turnovers, penalties, attitude and missed tackles cost the Natchez High Bulldogs as they fell 41-0 to McComb on Friday.

One positive play stands out from the sea of negativity. Jordan Butler, a senior defensive back, read a throw by the McComb quarterback in the first half and made a leaping interception to give a glimpse of hope for the Bulldogs. He came off of the field grinning ear to ear. 

It was not the only positive play of the evening but it did lift the spirits of Natchez momentarily. The Bulldogs were not able to get the ball moving down the field and take advantage of the turnover. 

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“There were a lot of things going on.We tried to get started back and I thought it would be a game changer,” Butler said. “I felt maybe this will get us going. It didn’t. The loss tonight will make us better. I think every game we take something from our film time and it will show us what to do and how we will get better from it.” 

Natchez will rue some missed chances early in the game which could have changed the feel. A ball carrier fumbled inside the 30 for Natchez when the Bulldogs threatened to score three minutes into the game. Penalties killed another Natchez drive inside the 40 yard line of McComb. 

Missed tackles and wide open receivers cost the Bulldogs as McComb clawed the secondary to shreds. The challenges started to weigh on the players as frustration and disappointment grew on the sideline. 

“When one head gets down everyone gets down. It has to stop. We have to pick up our heads. Every game you will have wins and losses. We just have to keep our heads up,” Butler said. 

He hopes to play college football and currently has a 3.8 GPA. Head Coach Steve Davis is helping him with recruitment but it seems like Davis has also gotten Butler to buy into the program. 

Butler said he would like to study psychology in college. It is something that has interested him and he likes to use psychology to help the team. 

“You can’t be undisciplined on this team. When guys get their heads down we have to pick our heads up,” Butler said. “You have to help other people keep their heads up and in the game.” 

Davis said the game was frustrating and he still feels his program is undisciplined despite them working on it. He said they struggled in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams. 

Natchez worked on things this week during practice and film session but on the field it was like they forgot to transfer what they learned into practice, Davis said. He places the blame on himself as well and said it all starts with him. 

“We aren’t playing what we are capable of playing. We have to fix what ails us and it is us,” Davis said. “We are our own worst enemy. We have to make plays and right now we aren’t making plays at all. We have to keep working and my message all week was to pay attention to the little details. They are escaping us. It is going to take time for the team to change their mindset.”

Natchez (0-2) will host Vicksburg, a 6A heavyweight, next week. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.