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Natchez is back in the win column with 27-24 win over South Jones

ELLISVILLE — Natchez High School senior quarterback Paul Hargrave helped rescue the Bulldogs from certain defeat as they defeated the South Jones High School Braves 27-24 Friday night in a pivotal MHSAA Region 3-5A game for both teams.

“We were down 12 with three minutes left. All week we talked about redemption. We talked about avenging what happened last week against West Jones,” Natchez High head coach Roy Rigsby said.

Hargrave threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Cornelius Bailey with less than 3 minutes to play to cut South Jones’ lead to 24-20.

Then senior inside linebacker Devonta Stancel came up with the play of the game as his fumble recovery with 1:20 left gave the Bulldogs an opportunity to win the game. Soon after the turnover, Hargrave connected with James Singleton on the game-winner with a 10-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left.

“Defensively, we buckled down and made plays when we had to,” Rigsby said. “They never gave up. They stayed the course. They believed in each other.”

The Bulldogs trailed South Jones (4-4, 1-2) 10-6 at halftime 17-6 early in the third quarter before scoring a touchdown nearly midway through the quarter to trail just 17-12.

Hargrave completed 16 of 26 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Javontae Davis had 12 carries for 154 yards and one touchdown. E’Daniel Jones had an interception.

Natchez High (4-2, 2-1) plays host to Region 3-5A rival Brookhaven High School Friday at 7 p.m.

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