Louisiana previews: Ferriday set to host Vidalia

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

FERRIDAY — Gary Parnham Jr. remembers what it was like as a player to square off against Ferriday High School.

The Vidalia High School head coach said the Vikings’ annual game against the Trojans was huge for all of Concordia Parish. Now, Parnham said he’s not so sure the rivalry means as much.

“It’s still a rivalry, but it’s not as big a deal as it was back when I played,” Parnham said. “I can’t really put my finger on why. We’re still cross-town rivals. Maybe it’s just that the kids are different.”

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The Trojans will host the Vikings Friday night, and Ferriday coach Cleothis Cummings said he still expects the cross-town rivalry to give his players that extra push this week to improve.

“The Vidalia game should bring a lot of self-motivation, because they’re right down the road,” Cummings said. ‘It’s been a long-time rivalry, and it’s a very important game to players in the parish, back when I played and even before me. It’s just a old-fashioned rivalry.”

Cummings called Vidalia an improved team, and he said he would have to see some improvement from his squad if the Trojans want to come away with a win. Both teams are winless so far.

“We have to eliminate turnovers and miscues that have accumulated in the past two weeks,” Cummings said. “If we can do that, we can be successful.”

Parnham said he’s definitely seen an improved attitude in his team this year, and mental miscues are the main hurdle keeping the Vikings from their first win. But Parnham wasn’t about to sell the Trojans’ short, either.

“They’re a young team, and they have a lot of speed,” Parnham said. “They’re really fast on defense. They’re going through what we have the past couple of years. They have great athletes, and athleticism can make up for a lot of inexperience.”

Ferriday quarterback Shannon Morales is still out with a shoulder injury, but Morales said he expects to be back for the Trojans’ game against Wilkinson County High School next week.

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

Block at Jena

While Block High School isn’t taking on Ferriday or Vidalia this week, head coach Benny Vault Jr. said a rivalry has developed between itself and Jena High School.

“People from both towns have been talking trash,” Vault joked. “It’s becoming a big rivalry.”

After starting the season 2-0 with wins against Vidalia and Ferriday, Block will get probably it’s biggest test so far in the young season when it travels to Jena.

“They’re averaging 48 points per game, so it’ll be a little different than the last two opponents,” Vault said. “They’re coming in with a lot of confidence, and they’re playing good defense.”

On offense, Vault said his players would have to be prepared for a double wing offense similar to their own.

“This is a game where we’ll see where we are as a team,” Vault said.

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