Vidalia hoping to end rough season with win against Jena

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2010

VIDALIA — When Gary Parnham’s Vidalia High School team takes the field Friday, Parnham will be staring into a familiar face on the opposing sidelines.

The Vikings are set to host Jena High School Friday, which is coached by former Vidalia football player Bernie Cooley.

“We played together at Vidalia, and he’s coaching against his old school, so I know he’ll have his players ready,” Parnham said.

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Jena (3-6, 1-4) and Vidalia (1-8, 0-5) aren’t playing for anything but pride at this point, and Parnham said he hopes his seniors step up to the task Friday.

“This is the last game these seniors will ever play as far as organized football,” Parnham said.

“They have to decide if they want to go out with pride. You can look back and either say you went out in your last game and gave 100 percent, or just went through the motions.”

The Giants run an offense similar to what the Vikings run, Parnham said.

“They like to spread it out, and they have good skill players. They probably run it a little less than we do. They usually throw 60 to 65 percent of the time,” Parnham said.

“On defense, they get after it. I think one of their problems is that they had some injuries that hurt them this year.”

Parnham also said he expects Jena to play very physical, and his team would have to match that physicality if it wanted to win.

“The last couple of games we haven’t matched anyone physically. That’s a big key, and we just haven’t been doing it. But I expect Friday’s game to be a good one.”

As they’ve done the past few games, Parnham said the coaching staff will try to sub in as many young players as possible to give them some playing time.

“They’ve gone in and played hard, and we’ve been extremely proud of them. They’ve gotten after it and competed, and that’s what we expect from them.”

A win Friday would also help set the tone for offseason workouts, Parnham said.

“It would be very good (to win), because it gives you a positive to take from this year going into next year,” Parham said.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday.