Trojans, Vikings battle

Published 12:22 am Sunday, August 28, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Ferriday’s Jaylin Neal gets around Vidalia defenders during the Trojans’ jamboree game Saturday night at Vidalia High School.

Vidalia — Ferriday High School quarterback Richard Jefferson ran for two touchdowns for the Trojans Saturday night in their 20-7 victory over Vidalia High School in a jamboree contest that had the intensity and emotion of a late season battle.

Jefferson ended the night with 121 yards rushing on 10 carries to lead the Trojans’ rushing attack.

“We ran the ball pretty good,” Ferriday coach Richard Oliver said. “(Jefferson) is a great athlete, and we just try to give ourselves a chance to win with our athleticism.”

Ferriday turned the ball over twice and had 60 yards worth of penalties, and Oliver said his team definitely has to improve before their season starts next week against Natchez High School.

“We made a lot of mistakes, and we have a lot of work to do, but I was pleased with our effort,” he said. “We just have to get better at the little things.”

Vidalia struggled to find success offensively in the first of two, 12-minute halves. The Vikings fumbled twice and punted twice in their four first half possessions, and trailed 14-0 at the break.

But Vidalia found some life in the second half. The Vikings forced a Ferriday fumble on the Trojans’ opening possession of the half. Vidalia then put together a 71-yard drive, which was capped off by a 30-yard touchdown reception by Jamale Davis from Michael Whitley.

Whitley finished the game 3-for-9 passing for 55 yards and the touchdown.

“(Whitley) did alright,” Vidalia coach Gary Parnham said. “We expect him to have growing pains. He’s learning things, and we have to deal with that, but he will get better as the year goes along.”

After Vidalia’s touchdown the Vikings forced a turnover when Davis intercepted a Ferriday pass on the Vikings 10-yard-line.

But Vidalia was unable to move the ball and forced to punt.

Jefferson took ball on the first play of Ferriday’s next possession 36 yards to put the game away with just 2:26 left on the clock.

“We have a long way to go,” Parnham said. “We made a whole lot of mistakes. We have a young club.”

Parnham said one of Vidalia’s biggest issues was handling the center-quarterback snap, and the offensive line will be a focus in practice this week.

Parnham said he did like what he saw from his defense early in the game.

Oliver said he was glad to get his first game with Ferriday under his belt.

“I loved the fan support, we had a lot out here. The stands were packed,” he said. “The kids give a good effort, and it’s a real football town.”

Vidalia will host Block on Sept. 2, and Ferriday will host Natchez.

Block 35, Tensas 0

Block opened up the Vidalia jamboree Saturday night by dismantling an outmatched Tensas team 35-0.

The Bears scored all of their points in the first half of the contest, and four of their touchdowns came in the first four minutes of the game.

Ty Bell opened the scoring for Block with a 37-yard touchdown run, he would add a 65-yarder later in the half.

VaShawn Davis also had two rushing touchdowns for the Bears. He scored on an 8-yard run and a 70-yard run.

The Bears rushed for 175 yards on the night.

“I felt good about my running backs tonight,” Block coach Benny Vault said. “They did pretty good, I was proud of my running backs.”

Vault said his focus is on aggressiveness, and he saw that in his team early in the contest.

“We always work on being aggressive,” he said. “The defense played fine. At first we saw some big hits, and I really enjoyed seeing that.”

Tensas finished the game with -49 yards of offense, and two turnovers.

With Block and Vidalia playing each other to open the season next week, Vault said he did stay around to watch Vidalia and Ferriday play.

“I’ll stay and watch and see what they got,” he said. “But my philosophy is I’ll coach what I got, and I don’t know much about the other squad.”