Vidalia, Ferriday battle for title

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 5, 1999

All the hype and talk ends today as Vidalia and Ferriday kick it off at Viking Stadium with the District 3-2A title on the line.

&uot;This is exciting, but this is what you work for,&uot; said Ferriday head coach James McFarland, a longtime assistant coach who is in his first year as head coach of the Trojans.

Both teams are 3-0 in district play. Ferriday is 6-3 overall, while fourth-ranked Vidalia is 8-1.

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&uot;We have got to control the football,&uot; McFarland said. &uot;If we don’t do that or play well offensively, it will be a long night for us.&uot;

McFarland said his team has had a good week of practice.

&uot;Everybody has been pretty at ease,&uot; he said. &uot;They’ve stayed pretty relaxed.&uot;

Two of the teams Ferriday lost to this year – Farmerville and Peabody – could possibly end up as district champions, while Winnsboro had injuries prevent them from having a good year.

&uot;We’ve had a tough non-district schedule,&uot; McFarland said.

The Ferriday coach will be without linebacker Marcus Washington, who has a broken ankle. Stanley Smith, who sat out last week with a slight ankle injury, will play tonight.

McFarland said his defense will have its hands full trying to stop Viking running back Dariel Mays, who has more than 1,800 yards rushing.

&uot;We have got to control Dariel Mays,&uot; McFarland said. &uot;He’s their sparkplug. They are going to get him the ball and we have to be able to tackle him.&uot;

Vidalia head coach Dee Faircloth is just as wary of the Trojan offense.

&uot;They are impossible to stop,&uot; he said. &uot;I&160;know Winnsboro didn’t stop them. They have a lot of weapons with their running backs and receivers. They’ve got it all. It’s going to be a challenge.&uot;

Faircloth said he believes the key to the game will be which defense plays better.

&uot;Plus the kicking game will have a lot to do with it as far as field position,&uot; he said.

Faircloth said his coaching staff has approached this game as being the 10th game of the year.

&uot;You don’t want to get too sky high and treat this like the game of the century with the playoffs right around the corner,&uot; he said. &uot;That’s the biggee.&uot;

Kickoff is 7 p.m. and admission is $5.