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Vidalia looks to stay undefeated as Ferriday enters Viking territory

Vidalia High School junior running back Johnny Anderson gets pushed back by Ferriday High School defensive players at the Vidalia football jamboree last month. (Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat)
Vidalia High School junior running back Johnny Anderson gets pushed back by Ferriday High School defensive players at the Vidalia football jamboree last month. (Justin Sellers / The Natchez Democrat)

Vidalia — When Vidalia High School (2-0) and Ferriday High School (1-1) meet at Dee Faircloth Viking Stadium tonight, their winning records will go out of the window.

Both teams are coming off of tough wins last week that shows promise to a better start than their 2012 seasons, but only one team will come out victorious tonight.

A 2-0 start has built confidence early on for the Vikings, but Vidalia head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said they wouldn’t be able to prove they’re a better team until they match up against Ferriday.

“This game will define us,” Parnham said. “People don’t believe in us just yet because of our past, but if we win this game, it’ll show them that we’re capable of winning a lot this season.”

Parnham said last week’s game against Delhi Charter was a test for them, and the 22-21 comeback victory showed him that his players have the will to win this season.

“We were down 13 points in the fourth quarter, and our kids never quit,” he said. “They kept pushing. And for that to happen to this team this early and them being this young, it was a confidence-booster for the players.”

Parnham said the Vikings’ practices this week focused on the offensive line and the defensive assignments.

Along with tightening up his defense, Parnham said he plans to utilize his two quarterbacks, Cole Cangemi and Jonterrius Townsend, in certain situations against the Trojans.

“We will use Cangemi when we go to the I-formation and (Townsend) when we go to shotgun formation,” Parnham said. “They complement each other and contrast each other. (Cangemi) gets the plays down, but he’s not as shifty and athletic as (Townsend).”

Parnham said having two quarterbacks is a valuable asset because it gives his offense the ability to change up their scheme at any time. But Parnham said the quarterbacks alone would not win the game for them.

“The team that wins the battle in the trenches will come out with the win,” he said.

Ferriday is coming off of a tough 12-8 win against Block High School that Ferriday head coach Cleothis Cummings said lacked offensive productivity.

But Cummings said his special teams and defense stepped up for him, and once the offense does the same, games will become smoother for the Trojans.

“Our special teams played a really important part last week,” Cummings said. “We were able to pin them deep on punts and kickoffs. Our defense only allowed 170 yards of offense. We have to keep working and let our offense find its groove.”

The Trojans have been working on their offensive schemes, with last year’s quarterback Shannon Morales taking over for the injured Ronald Williams. Cummings said one of the most important things they must overcome to win against the Vikings can’t be taught in practice.

“They have to control their emotions going into a rivalry game,” he said. “This team is undefeated so we know if we win, we have the bragging rights.”

Cummings said penalty flags have been a problem for his Trojans all season, and they couldn’t afford those types of mental mistakes against a team like Vidalia.

Running back Dontrell Domino will continue to see a lot of playing time after returning from an ACL tear last season, and Cummings said Domino has taken on the challenge of coming back full speed for the Trojans.

“He’s coming along well, it’s a day-to-day process,” he said. “He showed a lot of mental toughness last week with carrying the ball 19 times for us.”

Vidalia will host Ferriday at 7 p.m. today.

 

 

 

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