Rivalry breaks open as Vidalia blasts Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 8, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; Gaping wounds breathe a little while longer with adolescents.

Teenagers are not as quick to relinquish grudges and forget about embarrassing moments when their characters are made mockeries of.

A new millennium of the Battle of Concordia began three years ago with a 43-0 trouncing of Ferriday over Vidalia.

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The 17 seniors that strutted onto Viking Field Friday never forgot, as they reminded the young Trojans over and over and over in a 61-6 shellacking to capture the district 4-2A crown.

&uot;The way we look at it is they blew us out our freshmen year, and we wanted to send a message,&uot; said fullback Chris Williams, who totaled 44 yards on nine carries, including Vidalia’s first touchdown. &uot;This sends that message for the whole playoffs we’ll be for real.&uot;

Class 2A’s No. 1 team, which ran its regular season winning streak to 20 games, never allowed the rivalry game to turn into just that.

The Vikings (10-0, 4-0) saw five separate players score on touchdown runs and got a 17-yard interception return from Louis McNulty early in the fourth quarter for their final score.

The loss means Ferriday (4-6, 3-1) must play a waiting game to see whether or not it qualifies for next week’s playoffs according to Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s power ratings.

Coming out of the break trailing 36-0, Ferriday got a huge kickoff return from Theotis Cummings to set up its only scoring drive of the night.

&uot;We didn’t play well, but we knew we were going to have to play above our heads to beat them,&uot; Trojans head coach James McFarland said. &uot;Hopefully we’ll go back to the drawing board for next week.&uot;

A Scotty Cage pass slipped through the hands of Vidalia defensive back Chase Clayton for a possible interception and into the arms of back Montago Tennessee for a 22-yard gain to set up a first and goal from the Vikings’ 10.

Two plays later Cage hit Tennessee on a similar route for an 8-yard touchdown reception with 10:14 in the third quarter.

&uot;They had the momentum, and that’s just what we preached to not let happen at the half,&uot; Vidalia head coach Dee Faircloth said. &uot;I’d be doggone if they didn’t get right back in it with a great return.&uot;

But just when the Trojan fans began to stir, Vidalia tailback Michael Randall quieted them all and brought the Viking fans to their feet.

Randall, who at that point had 55 yards on nine carries and a 28-yard touchdown run, broke off left tackle, up the visitor’s sideline and housed it from 62 yards out less than 20 seconds after the Ferriday score.

He finished the night with 147 yards on 14 rushes.

&uot;I knew I had to get it. The line kept telling me to take my tie,&uot; said Randall, who Faircloth called his ‘home run hitter.’ &uot;They said it was going to come to me. I thought I wasn’t going get anything from it. I took advantage of the hole and took off.&uot;

So did the other members of Vidalia’s running corps. The Vikings’ mileage ran all the way up to 338 yards rushing on 36 attempts.

Quarterback Tony Hawkins, who had scoring runs of 40, 3 and 7, coupled up with Randall to surpass the 100-yard mark with 103 on seven attempts.

Hawkins also threw for 58 yards on 3 of 6 passing.

&uot;We knew Tony was a great option quarterback,&uot; Faircloth said. &uot;We try and keep him from not running a lot. But my dad would be proud now because he was an option coach.&uot;

The Vidalia defense was just as inspiring as its counterparts. The Vikes limited Ferriday to 53 total yards in the first half and 96 for the contest.

On Ferriday’s second offensive possession it moved the ball passed midfield and had a third and 1 from the Viking 40.

Instead of power ahead with Cummings, McFarland chose to pass and Cage paid the consequences, as Steven Cooper sacked him for a 9-yard loss.