Ferriday takes 10-point win over rival Vikings

Published 1:35 am Saturday, September 19, 2009

VIDALIA — As Vidalia High School’s Quan Riley was taken to the ambulance on a stretcher, he raised a fist in the air to ignite the Vikings’ home crowd in its game against Ferriday High School Friday, but it just wasn’t enough.

Riley, who went down with 6:44 left in the fourth quarter, was inspirational, but his team simply didn’t have the needed energy left and lost 34-24.

Riley’s neck injury after a fumble on the 37-yard line led to a roughly 15-minute delay, and Riley was eventually taken to Natchez Regional Medical Center for precautionary reasons.

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The Vikings couldn’t muster another scoring drive, as Ferriday won to go 2-1 on the season.

Gary Parnham Jr., who was acting head coach for the Vikings with Dee Faircloth out sick, said Riley’s injury actually happened a play before the fumble.

“He had tingling in his legs,” Parnham said. “The blow happened a play before (when) he got elbowed in the back of the neck. Unfortunately, I didn’t know his neck was hurting him.

“When he went down, he jarred it. I’m hoping it’s just precautionary, and that’s what we’re being told.”

Vidalia was only down 28-24 going into the fourth quarter, but a 40-yard touchdown catch by the Trojans’ Alfred Brown gave them a 10-point lead and put the game out of reach.

Ferriday began the second half trailing 18-8, but a quick 20 points erased the deficit and put the Trojans in the driver’s seat.

With 10:16 to go in the third, Ferriday’s DeVante Scott returned a Vidalia punt 74 yards for a touchdown. The Trojans scored again on a Bobby Madison 81-yard carry and a 19-yard touchdown run by Scott.

Vidalia managed just one touchdown in the second half, a 14-yard catch by Gary Stewart with 42 seconds left in the third quarter.

Ferriday was tormented by penalties throughout the game. The Trojans were penalized 15 times for minus 150 yards. Nine of those penalties came in the first half, for minus 90 yards.

Ferriday head coach Freddie Harrison said he was not pleased with his team’s performance, despite the win.

“I really think that our team didn’t show up tonight to play,” Harrison said. “(It was) a really, really, really poor effort from both our offense and our defense.”

Harrison also said the Trojans picked up the pace in the second quarter only after seeing that they needed to get their heads in the game.

“They realized that they had to play football,” Harrison said. “They had been sleepwalking for two quarters and finally realized that they were getting their butt whipped.”

Ferriday scored first on a 14-yard touchdown run by Scott with 5:09 left in the first quarter, but didn’t score again in the first half.

Vidalia’s first touchdown came on a 60-yard catch by Tri McCoy with 3:54 left in the first.

The second quarter was all Vidalia, with a 19-yard touchdown catch by Riley and a 10-yard touchdown reception by McCoy.

Despite the loss, Parnham said he was proud that his team didn’t quit after the first Ferriday touchdown, and thinks conditioning finally caught up with the Vikings in the second half.

“The first two games we played we kind of folded up after some adversity,” Parnham said. “This team didn’t fold tonight, and that’s what makes me the proudest.

“We’re not done for this season, I can tell you that. We’ve got district (play) coming (next Friday), and we’re coming after every district team we play.