Ferriday’s Cummings channels inner lion as head coach

Published 12:02 am Sunday, September 7, 2014

Early into the third quarter, cramps set in. Ferriday linebacker and tight end Shannon Morales limped to the sideline, aching from his muscles tightening.

“Get the mustard,” said Cummings to his staff. “Suck it up, Shannon.”

Turnovers, penalties and fatigue combined for a lethargic third quarter, and by midway through the fourth, Ferriday found itself in a hole, down 40-12.

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“Hustle off the field!” Cummings shouted to his offense that went three-and-out, surrendering the ball to Natchez yet again.

The Trojans kept fighting, getting a few defensive stops in the final quarter, and Cummings, along with his gang, refused to quit.

It was when Ferriday faced the most adversity Cummings taught his team lessons he hoped would leave a lasting impact.

After another false start late in the fourth quarter, Cummings burned his final timeout of the game, walking out onto the field to give his team an earful.

“Timeout, ref,” Cummings said. “We have to get this right.”

Cummings stared at his group in the huddle, disgusted with their lack of focus. He walked away, staring back and turning to spit on the ground.

From that point, a fire lit in his squad, as the Trojans scored 12 unanswered points, refusing to quit.

Cummings’ stare didn’t wither, demanding the most out of his players even when the game was far out of reach.

After Domino scored from nine yards out to make the game 40-24 with 30 seconds left to play, Ferriday attempted a pass to Morales for a two-point conversion try. Morales, who battled cramps all game, leaped for the ball in single coverage but couldn’t come down with the catch. Morales ran back to the sideline and was greeted by a hand shake from Cummings, who admired the toughness of his senior linebacker and tight end.

“You have to come down with that catch, man,” said Cummings, cracking a smile.