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Natchez High invading King Field Friday

The Brookhaven High Panthers (4-5, 3-2) and the Natchez Bulldogs (4-5, 2-3) renew what has become a strong rivalry Friday night on King Field in a huge Region 3-5A matchup.

Last season, Natchez held off Brookhaven 34-33 in a game that the Panthers were missing quarterback Sevante Quinn with injury. The year before BHS beat Natchez 42-33 on King Field in a physical contest that was filled with big plays.

Last week, Natchez was defeated 38-12 by divisional leader West Jones. The week before the Bulldogs picked up a big region win with a 30-18 victory against Forest Hill. BHS closes their regular season next week at Forest Hill.

In the Forest Hill win Natchez senior quarterback James Singleton went 5-of-7 passing for 41 yards and two scores. Senior Desnick Bolden carried the ball 15 times for 55 yards to lead the Natchez ground game.

BHS is coming off a 13-12 win over Jim Hill in game that was played amongst mucky conditions following the hard rain of last week. A Trace Brady PAT kick ended up being the difference for the Panthers in the win.

West Jones leads the division with a 5-0 record and is followed by 4-1 Laurel. The Panthers are 3-2 while Forest Hill, Natchez and South Jones are all knotted with identical 2-3 ledgers.

Region 3 matches up with Region 4 in the first round of the playoffs in two weeks. That division has Picayune (9-0) and Wayne County (7-2) both with perfect 5-0 region records. Those two teams will meet in the regular season finale on November 8.

Picayune will be favored in that game as they’ve outscored their opponents a combined 474-111 this season. Beating Natchez this week and Forest Hill the following week will lock Brookhaven up as the third seed in Region 3 and likely have them traveling to Waynesboro instead of Pearl River County in their playoff opener.

Natchez and BHS kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday on King Field.