Kaden Walton’s return at starting QB not enough as Natchez High falls to Florence

Published 10:51 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

NATCHEZ — For the previous four weeks, Natchez High School’s varsity football team had for the most part been keeping the turnovers and penalties down that were vital during their four-game winning streak.

But last Friday night at home with first place on the line in MHSAA Region 3-5A against a very good Florence High School team, the Bulldogs lost their discipline and at times lost their control and that cost them in a 35-20 loss to the Eagles at Tom F. Williams Memorial Stadium.

And one person who was not at all happy about the team’s lack of discipline and focus was Natchez High head coach Steve Davis. He also said that Florence did “exactly what I thought they would do. They ran the ball right at us.”

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Offensively, Florence (6-3, 3-0) controlled the ball and controlled the clock. And that was something that the Bulldogs could not slow down.

“They just ran the ball. They just lined up in their heavy sets and just pounded the football at us,” Davis said. “We played good in spurts. But we didn’t put everything together to come out victorious tonight.”

But the biggest thing that Davis said he took away from the game was the penalties that he noted occurred at the most inopportune times — whether it be to keep drives alive for the Eagles’ offense or to stall drives for the Bulldogs’ offense.

“We lost the discipline we had the last five or six weeks. Too many unsportsmanlike (conduct) penalties. Too many penalties against a team like can be costly and it proved to be costly,” Davis added.

There weren’t many bright spots for the Bulldogs last Friday night, but one was the return of starting quarterback Kaden Walton.

“He ran the offense very well. He was making good, decisive throws and made good reads. He ran the ball well when he needed to,” Davis said.

Natchez High (4-5, 2-1) plays host to Region 3-5A newcomer Provine High School for the Bulldogs’ Senior Night game next Friday at 7 p.m.