Ferriday shows improvement

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ferriday High School’s Jarvis Brooks gets past Lake Providence High School defenders during their Friday night. Ferriday won 30-28 in overtime. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

FERRIDAY — Ferriday High School could have quit when it faced what the Trojans felt was some unfair adversity. Instead, the Trojans rose to the occasion in overtime and pulled out a win anyway.

In last Friday’s 30-28 win against Lake Providence High School, Ferriday (4-4, 2-1) scored on a two-point conversion in overtime after Lake Providence failed on its two-point play when it scored earlier.

“It was a great win,” head coach Richard Oliver said. “We thought we won it in regulation (with a last-second touchdown), but one referee called touchdown and the other said it was short.

“Our kids stayed focused. We needed that game to stay in the hunt for a district title, and we played hard through overtime.”

With a young team on his hands, Oliver said the win should pay dividends down the road.

“For a lot of our kids, it’s their first time playing varsity football,” Oliver said. “We had some really close games. I think we’ve only lost badly once. With a bunch of young kids, when you have a win like that, the future’s bright.”

And Oliver admitted it’s sometimes tough coaching players that have never played football before.

“It’s not that they don’t have athletic ability, it’s just their knowledge of the game and the little things (that hasn’t developed yet),” he said.

“Our kids have responded well and done good with what we’ve been teaching them. The effort’s been there.”

With Friday’s game against Sterlington High School being in Sterlington, Oliver said his team would have to play focused.

“They run the Double Wing (offense), and they look good on tape,” Oliver said. “The home teams in our district seem to have the advantage, as they all seem to be winning home games. We’ll have to play good football to win.”

Kickoff at Sterlington is at 7 p.m. Friday.

Vidalia at Caldwell Parish

VIDALIA — Vidalia High School will have to contend with Caldwell Parish High School’s spread offensive attack on the road, as the Vikings continue to search for their first win of the season.

Vidalia head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said the spread, which Vidalia runs a variant of, works to an offense’s advantage because of its ability to get athletes open in space.

“If you have the threat of passing, it works really well, because it spreads you out in the open and opens up running lanes and things like that,” Parnham said.

Because of that, Parnham said open-field tackling will be of utmost importance for the Viking defense.

“That’s very much of a key, open-field tackling and filling gaps,” Parnham said. “We just have to wrap up and makes sure we make those tackles.”

And the trick is to not over-pursue the offensive player while trying to make that tackle, Parnham added.

“It’s tough to do, especially in high school,” Parnham said.

Kickoff at Caldwell Parish is at 7 Friday night.

St. Mary’s at Block

JONESVILLE — St. Mary’s High School hasn’t lost but three or four games the last few years, Block High School head coach Benny Vault Jr. said.

But Vault also said he feels like his Bears match up favorably with the Tigers from Natchitoches, La.

“They have some speed, and they look like they’re pretty well-coached,” Vault said. “They’re going to get out there and compete, and they have a winning attitude, which is a great thing to have.

“As far as size and ability, though, we feel like we match up with them pretty well.”

Block (4-4, 2-0) played a tough non-district schedule, Vault said, but he said he feels like his team is ready for the LHSAA Class 1A postseason.

“To get a favorable seeding, we’re going to have to win out,” Vault said. “That should move us into the No. 13 or 14 spot. We should be OK power point-wise. It’s just a matter of going out there and getting the job done.”

Kickoff at Block will be at 7 p.m. Friday.