Louisiana previews: Ferriday High set to host Block

Published 12:01 am Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ferriday — The rivalry games will continue on the Louisiana side of the river this week when Block High School travels to face Ferriday High School.

Last week Block edged area rival Vidalia High School, 24-6, while Ferriday fell to cross-river rival Natchez High School, 33-6.

This week both teams look to grab a victory over each other in their budding rivalry.

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“This has become a rivalry,” Block head coach Benny Vault said. “All the kids know each other, and (Ferriday) Coach (Cleothis) Cummings used to coach with me. It’s going to be a tough game and will probably go right down to the wire.”

Vault said a win Friday would give his team a clean sweep against its local Louisiana rivals.

“I think anytime we get to start 2-0 is great,” he said. “In the history of Block, it’s typically been domination by Vidalia and Ferriday, and if we can win against those two, it will get us started in the right direction.”

Vault said he was a little disappointed in how his team played against Vidalia, and he expects to have those problems fixed Friday.

“I didn’t think we played Block Bear football, which is aggressive, physical football,” he said. “That’s something we are searching for this week, because if we play that way against Ferriday, we’ll get beat.”

One benefit to being familiar foes is there will be no surprises on the field Friday, Vault said.

“Ferriday is Ferriday,” he said. “They are going to be fast, and they have a tradition behind them. The kids play junkyard dog, Ferriday Trojan type football.”

Cummings said he knows Vault will not change anything about his game plan in preparation for the Trojans.

“We’re pretty familiar with Block. We’ve been playing them for years now,” he said. “Coach Vault is a consistent guy. He’s going to stay with what he runs. He believes in it.”

Cummings said he knows that means Ferriday will have to prepare this week to stop Block’s run-heavy offense.

“We are going to face the double-tight, double-wing (offense), and we have to try to penetrate as much as possible to disrupt what they do.”

Friday’s game at Ferriday will mark the first home game of Cummings’ coaching career, and he said he is excited about playing in front of the home crowd, especially with a local rival on the other sideline.

“(The rivalry) has become a big part of our community,” he said. “We consider it the Black River rivalry, and it’s a big deal. The kids are up for it, and they have a lot of relatives — and I do too — playing for Block. But we want the kids to go out and compete and not focus on the rivalry.”

The Trojans will host the Bears at 7 p.m. Friday.

Vidalia at Delhi Charter

VIDALIA — Vidalia High School football coach Gary Parnham said his team’s loss at Block this weekend could not be attributed to lack of effort.

“I thought we played hard,” he said. “We played tough, but mistakes at key times really hurt us.”

This week the Vikings will try to eliminate those mistakes in practice before hitting the road again, this time to face Delhi Charter.

“They are a pretty good football team,” Parnham said. “They make the playoffs year-in and year-out. They are a well-coached, disciplined team.”

Parnham said Delhi Charter is primarily a running team with good running backs and a good quarterback who manages the game really well.

The Vikings also showed a new-look offense against the Bears, and Parnham said he was pleased with its effectiveness, but the team cannot afford to make mistakes to end drives.

“We moved the ball up and down the field pretty well,” he said. “We just had busted assignments and turnovers cost us. If we carry out our assignments, we’ll be OK.”

Vidalia (0-1) will face Delhi Charter (0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.