Ferriday stays alive in postseason play

Published 1:43 am Saturday, November 10, 2007

FERRIDAY — Despite a lackluster performance, the Ferriday Trojans defeated the Red River Bulldogs 20-6 to advance the second round of playoffs.

The Trojans jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first minute of the game.

Running back Matthew Smith returned the opening kickoff 93-yards. Then Red River fumbled their first snap that led to a 31-yard touchdown pass by Kendrick Harris to Donrick Washington.

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“All three phases showed up to play tonight,” Ferriday head coach Freddie Harrison said. “We wanted to set the tone early but we have to maintain it for four quarters.”

Red River answered quickly to cut the score in half on the legs of running back Cadelro Lewis.

“Lewis is the real deal,” Harrison said. “He kept them in it for the entire game.”

At the end of the first, Red River was threatening to score from the 4-yard line but the Trojan defense held up on a fourth down attempt to keep the Trojans alive.

“We had to calm down and play our game,” Trojan linebacker Jeremy Kelly said. “We knew we had to make a big stop.”

After allowing Lewis to rush for 134 yards in the first quarter, the Trojan coaching staff made adjustments and held Lewis to just 72 yards for the rest of the game.

“The assistant coaches did a great job adjusting,” Harrison said. “The defense saved us tonight.”

The second half didn’t fair much better for either team.

After a Trojan defensive stand two 15-yard penalties and a Harris run put Ferriday on the 1-yard line, they committed two penalties of their own to back them up the 16 and a passing situation.

Harris’ pass found it’s way to a Red River defender for his third interception of the night.

“I didn’t have my best game tonight,” Harris said. “I wasn’t patient enough with my receivers.”

The Trojans got a scare in at the start of the fourth when Harris went down after a big hit from Bulldog defensive lineman Bennie Logan.

“I’ve been sick all week and it led to my leg cramping up,” Harris said. “I knew I had to get up. My team needed me.”

Red River mishandled the snap on the ensuing play to turnover the ball.

“We had too many mistakes tonight,” Red River head coach Reginald Prealow said. “Every time we took the momentum away from them, we gave it back.”

Harrison turned to his running back, Smith to kill the clock and put the game away.

“Anytime you get a key player back in the lineup, it gives your team a boost,” Harrison said.

The Bulldogs were able to contain Smith and forced Ferriday to give up the ball on downs with five minutes on the clock.

“It was a necessity that we stopped them,” Kelly said. “We knew we had to make a play.”

Red River’s offense was met by the energized Trojans and they were unable to convert on fourth and long to turnover the ball.

Three plays later, Smith put the game out of reach on an 11-yard run.

“I knew I had to come out with intensity,” Smith said. “I told my team whatever they needed I was there for them and we got it done.”

After the game, Harrison said the win was bitter sweet.

“We could have performed better tonight,” he said. “The thing is, tonight is over and it’s time to move on. We have another big game coming up.”

The Trojans will host St. John next week in round two of the state 2A playoffs. St. John defeated Loyola 46-44.