Block, Ferriday head to LHSAA playoffs

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 10, 2008

NATCHEZ — While the public school playoffs began last week for a couple of area schools, three more begin their march to a state championship this Friday night.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association playoffs kick off this week, and both Block and Ferriday are in.

Block is the No. 9 seed in Class 1A and will host No. 24 seed Desire Street Academy in Jonesville.

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“Our goal was to try and get in the top 10,” Block head coach Benny Vault said. “It’s quite an accomplishment. The kids are happy and the community is happy. We’re getting ready to play playoff football around here.”

The Bears made it in the playoffs last year as the 24 seed but lost in the first round.

However, Vault said that experience will help the team this year.

“We thought (last year) was a pretty good accomplishment based on where we were at the beginning of the year and the previous season,” Vault said. “We were just happy to get there last year. This year, we’re expecting a little bit more. We’re ready to go out and prove we belong in the playoffs.”

While Block will host a first round game, the Ferriday Trojans will be on the road as they barely slipped into the Class 2A playoffs as the No. 32 seed.

The Trojans will take on top seeded John Curtis, traditionally one of the top teams in Louisiana regardless of classification.

“It’s always a reward to make the playoffs,” Ferriday coach Freddie Harrison said. “It’s a new season now. Out of 57 teams in Class 2A football, only 32 are still playing and we’re one of the 32. It doesn’t matter if we’re 32 or 1, we’re still here.”

Harrison said his team will prepare to win, despite the fact they will be huge underdogs.

“They’ve got a tradition that no other school in the state has with all the state championships they have,” Harrison said. “But that’s why you play the game. It’s not played on paper, it’s played man to man, and we’re going to go out there and play football.”

Natchez High will also play a first round game as the MHSAA Class 5A playoffs get started Friday night.

The Bulldogs will travel to play Petal, the Region 4-5A champion.

It is the first time since 1997 the Bulldogs have made the postseason, but coach Lance Reed said his team isn’t resting on its laurels.

“We’re pleased but we don’t feel like we’ve reached our full potential this season,” Reed said. “All in all, I’m proud of the effort displayed by our group of kids.”

Reed said there is no pressure on his team, as no one expects the Bulldogs to be able to defeat Petal.

“We really have no pressure on us,” Reed said. “We have nothing to worry about as far as winning or losing goes. We’re real keyed up about winning. We want to go in and make a difference in the playoffs.”

The other public school team still remaining in the playoffs is Franklin County.

The Bulldogs destroyed Southeast Lauderdale 38-7 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs last week and will travel to face Hazlehurst this Friday.

Hazlehurst, the Region 6-3A champion, defeated Purvis in the first round of the playoffs by the score of 60-20.

The Indians lost their first two games of the season but have won eight in a row coming into Friday’s game.

It will be the second time Franklin County has played Hazlehurst this season. The two teams met in the season-opener on Aug. 29, with the Bulldogs taking a 21-6 victory.