Davis still remembers best games

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 2, 2000

James M. Davis has no trouble remembering his favorite games as a Ferriday High football players. It was his first and his second-to-last.

As a freshman in 1985, Davis was pushed into duty as a quarterback when starter Renard Cage was injured in the opener against Vidalia and back-up Dale Banks was also injured.

Davis started the following week against Clinton and led the Trojans to an 84-0 win over Clinton, completing 16 of 27 passes for 303 yards and eight touchdowns.

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&uot;I thought I might play in the first game, but Renard finished that one,&uot; Davis said. &uot;I started the next week against Clinton and I didn’t know it would be that easy. I just put the ball up and they went and go it.&uot;

Davis’ senior season of 1988 saw him throw for 2,019 yards, completing 98 of 153 passes. The Trojans finished 8-4, losing to Washington-Marion in the second round.

In the first round of the Class 3A playoffs, Ferriday defeated Alexandria Senior High 42-35 as Davis passed six yards to Derrick Burford for the winning score with 11 seconds remaining. Davis passed for 377 yards in the contest.

&uot;A lot of people didn’t expect us to win that game,&uot; Davis said. Of course if you talk about an overall highlight, it would be winning two state championships as part of the Ferriday High basketball team.

&uot;We had been playing together since the Lower Elementary,&uot; Davis said. &uot;Coach (Robert) Cade came in and put together the right package. A lot of people don’t remember I played basketball. Football was always my favorite, no doubt. But I loved basketball.&uot;

Davis credits Cade, an assistant with the Trojan football team, with helping him develop his passing game.

&uot;Coming up in junior high I really didn’t have a quarterback coach,&uot; he said. &uot;Coach Cade worked with me through the summer and had me prepared in case anything happened.&uot; Ferriday went 5-5 Davis’ sophomore year.

&uot; We only had three guys coming back with experience,&uot; he said. &uot;We had a young offensive line and we struggled.&uot; Ferriday went 6-4 the following year, losing in the first round of the playoffs. Davis teamed up with James C. Davis and James Leonard to put up big numbers his senior year under first year coach Cordell Bailey. The James Gang was a natural moniker.

&uot;If we could have established a running game that year we would have really done something,&uot; Davis said.

Davis is now an assistant coach in football at Ferriday High and took over as boys head basketball coach when Cade joined Natchez High as an assistant football and basketball coach.

&uot;It’s great being back at Ferriday because some of the guys coming up were in the Lower Elementary when&160;I was playing,&uot; he said. &uot;I want to try and teach them the way I was taught.&uot;