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Natchez High blows out Jefferson County High School, 46-16

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School junior quarterback Kyreek Murray accounted for five touchdowns, three passing and two rushing, as the Bulldogs pulled away for a 46-16 win over the Jefferson County Tigers Friday night.

“We did the same things we did in the previous loss,” Jefferson County head coach James Herrington said. “We turned the ball over too much. Didn’t get off the field on third down. You can’t make those mistakes on the road and expect to win.”

The game went back and forth between the two rival teams for much of the first half. When Jefferson County senior quarterback Marques Smith threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick January Jr. and Elton Fitzgerald ran in for the two-point conversion with 2:23 to go in the second quarter, that cut Natchez High’s lead to 18-16.

Not only would that be as close as the Tigers would get to the lead, that would be the last time the they would get into the end zone

The Bulldogs responded when Murray connected with Mike Williams on a 30-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left until halftime. Yet the two-point conversion failed and Natchez High went into halftime with a 24-16.

However, that touchdown would be the beginning of the Bulldogs scoring the final 28 points of the game.

“Natchez was able to capitalize on our mistakes. Once they were able to get the momentum, they were not going to give it up,” Herrington said. “Mistakes and penalties hurt us.

Murray threw a 35-yard TD pass to Trevon Henry with 8:59 left in the third quarter and Murray connected with Williams on an eight-yard TD pass with 37 seconds to go in the same quarter as the Bulldogs’ lead grew to 40-16 by quarter’s end.

Traylon Minor scored on a two-yard run, his second touchdown of the game, with 8:04 remaining.

Jefferson County jumped out to an 8-0 lead with 2:57 left in the first quarter on a five-yard pass from Smith to January Jr. Fitzgerald added the two-point conversion run.

Smith completed just nine of 22 passes for 140 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

“It wasn’t his best game. He got rushed some. They put some pressure on him. Had some errant throws,” Herrington said about Smith’s performance.

Jefferson County (2-2) plays host to rival Port Gibson High School Friday at 7 p.m. in the MHSAA Region 7-3A opener for both teams. It will also be the first game of the season for the Blue Waves.

“We’re 2-2 heading into (region) play and our focus now is on Port Gibson,” Herrington said.

Natchez High (2-1) travels to Summit to take on North Pike High School at 7 p.m. Friday.