Battle of Concordia has extra meaning

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 4, 1999

The adrenaline is pumping at practice like no time before. Heart rates are a little higher and concentrating on schoolwork is just a little bit tougher.

It must be Vidalia versus Ferriday week.

&uot;It means a lot,&uot; said Ferriday quarterback Aron Thomas. ‘Everybody know all about the rivalry, but this year its means a great deal more. It will have a lot to do with the rest of the season and the playoffs.&uot;

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Vidalia and Ferriday are both 3-0 in District 3-2A play. This year marks the first time in two decades that a district title is on the line. Ferriday just moved down to Class 2A this year. Vidalia has been up and down the past several years.

&uot;Every year both teams always play tough against each other,&uot; said Vidalia senior center/defensive tackle Jason Jordan.

&uot;We go over there and they come over here talking noise,&uot; said Vidalia senior running back Dariel Mays. &uot;It’s like that all year, but especially this week.&uot;

Mays has rushed for more than 2,000 yards this season.

&uot;It’s been incredible,&uot; he said. &uot;I never thought I would accomplish that.&uot;

Thomas had one of his better games of the year last week in a 57-16 win over McCall. The senior quarterback 12 of 17 passes for 328 yards in the win.

&uot;That game gave me a lot of confidence,&uot;&160;Thomas said.

Thomas threw two late touchdown passes to give Ferriday a 32-30 win last year after the Trojans trailed 22-6 at halftime.

&uot;That was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever played in,&uot; Thomas said.

Thomas said he doesn’t feel the Trojans will have to throw as much as usual Friday.

&uot;We’ve got one of the best running backs (Corey Gordon) in the district,&uot; Thomas said. &uot;When he does his job it makes my job easier.&uot;

Jordan believes the Vikings have to put pressure on Thomas.

&uot;Our defense has to get a good rush because they have a good quarterback,&uot; he said. &uot;We have to try and force him out of the pocket.&uot;

&uot;Offensively we have to block well because they have a good defense,&uot; Jordan said.

Ferriday defensive end Stanley Smith missed last week’s game with an ankle injury. There’s no way he would miss this one.

&uot;I could have played last week if they would have needed me,&uot; Smith said. &uot;But this one is for bragging rights.&uot;

Smith said he has several friends on the Vidalia team, and that Viking senior Terrell Williams is his cousin.

Smith knows the Trojan defense will have to slow down Mays.

&uot;The main thing we have to do is stop their option,&uot; Smith said. &uot;I think if we can stop the option, we can stop everything else.&uot;

Jordan said the Vikings have to give Mays room to run.

&uot;We have to open up the running game and also pass the ball,&uot; he said. &uot;There’s a little extra pressure this week, but it helps you play better. We just have to stay focused.&uot;

Mays went to the LSU football camp with Smith and Thomas.

&uot;We were even talking about this game then,&uot; he said.

Mays said he has trouble concentrating on anything else but the game this week.

&uot;It’s been tough at school,&uot; he said. &uot;I’ll be sitting in class thinking about the game. Then I’ll go home and think about it and even dream about it.&uot;

Mays said he knows he will be a target of the Trojan defense.

&uot;We’ve been working hard and I have a lot of confidence in my offensive line,&uot; he said.

And what happens if Vidalia loses?

&uot;That would really hurt,&uot; Mays said. &uot;I probably wouldn’t go out all weekend.&uot;

And if Ferriday lost?

&uot;It will be like torture,&uot; Smith said.