Louisiana previews: Ferriday Trojans must win to get in

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 3, 2011

FERRIDAY — It’s all or nothing for the Trojans Friday night, as Ferriday High School’s postseason hopes are hanging by a thread.

Ferriday (4-5, 2-2) will host Lakeside High School at 7 p.m. Friday, and Trojans head coach Richard Oliver said the game is a must-win for his team.

“If we started the playoffs today, we’d be in,” Oliver said. “We’re currently at the bottom of the bracket, but if we lose Friday, we’re out.”

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Despite the pressure, Oliver said he’s stressing to his players not to practice and play too tight this week.

“I tell them this: It’s a fun game,” Oliver said. “If you’re out here on week 10, you’re either having fun or you’re crazy. There’s pressure, but there’s no pressure. I just tell them to go out and have fun.”

In scouting Lakeside, Oliver said he’s wary of the size Lakeside has in the trenches.

“They’re big,” Oliver said. “Their offensive and defensive lines are pretty big, and they have a pretty good nose tackle that could give us some problems.

“They also have pretty good skill players. I’ve been surprised with the skill players in our district. They have a good quarterback, good running back and some receivers that can go get it.”

With it being the Trojans’ final home game of the regular season, Friday marks senior night at Ferriday.

“We only have about six seniors, but this is always a big night for them,” Oliver said. “It’s the last time they’ll get to play high school football. Some of them may go on to play in college, but this is the last time they’ll be able to play in this type of setting.

“The parents will be there, and if we win, we’ll play on. If we lose, we go home, so this is it.”

Vidalia at Buckeye

VIDALIA — Vidalia High School will also be taking on a team with a lot of size as the Vikings travel to Buckeye High School Friday night.

“They’re big, big on the offensive and defensive line,” head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said. “They’re well-coached. They run a lot of double traps, and they’ll spread you out just like most other football teams will.”

Even with a disappointing 0-9 record, Parnham said the main thing he’s evaluating is how much his team improved on the little things.

“We’re still making a lot of mistakes,” Parnham said. “It’s been tough getting them to focus this week. We’ve made some improvements, but I’d like to see us continue to work on the little things.”

If a genie granted Parnham one wish on something his players could automatically improve on, Parnham said he’d wish for his players to play tougher consistently.

“We play passive too much,” Parnham said. “It seems like we try to feel out how other teams will play us instead of busting people in the mouth.”

But Parnham admitted that some of that can be attributed to inexperience.

“Hopefully that will come around with age and experience,” Parnham said.

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

Northwood-Lena at Block

JONESVILLE — Block High School is looking to win its district outright as the Bears get set to host Northwood-Lena High School Friday.

Head coach Benny Vault Jr. said his team has to make sure it doesn’t lose focus even after a big win last week against St. Mary’s.

“(Northwood-Lena is) a little scrappy team,” Vault said. “They’re 4-5, but they play hard, and they’re pretty well-coached. They do well with what we have and we just have to stay focused on our end and go out and play. They run a variety of different sets, so there are a few things to prepare for this week.”

After having an up-and-down ride early in the season, Block (5-4, 3-0) has managed to go undefeated in district. Vault said he was pleased with how his players responded despite the roller-coaster start.

“I think we responded well,” Vault said. “We learned a lot of things about ourselves. In those losses, we were up at halftime in two of those games, and we had never experienced having a losing season at that point in year.

“A lot of the kids got discouraged, so I had to keep them motivated and have them not lose focus on our goals.”

Kickoff at Block is at 7 Friday night.