Trojans in must-win situation Friday

Published 12:02 am Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ferriday — Placed in a must-win situation, the (3-4) Ferriday Trojans have slowed everything down heading into Friday’s matchup against district foe (0-7) Winnfield.

Ferriday head coach Cleothis Cummings said the focal point of this week has been all three phases, and instead of ramping up the intensity at practice, Cummings and his staff have slowed the pace to point out the specifics.

“We’ve been reiterating the teaching of what we’re trying to do,” Cummings said. “We’ve had some good days at practice, and we just want to make sure we’re getting better every day. We’ve been working on finishing games.”

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In the Trojans’ back-to-back losses, Ferriday was leading 35-34 against Oak Grove last week and trailed Sterlington 31-20 in the fourth quarter two weeks ago. Sterlington and Oak Grove went on to shut Ferriday out for the remainder of those games, and Ferriday ultimately lost 48-35 to Oak Grove and 44-20 against Sterlington. The district losses have put Ferriday at the bottom of the district with a winless Winnfield, forcing Ferriday to win in order to stay in playoff contention.

“I told our kids that our backs are against the wall,” Cummings said. “We have to take this game right here and fight back toward the top.”

Despite Winnfield’s record, the Tigers have battled bigger teams to close results. Winnfield lost to 3A Marksville 20-0 and fell to 4A Leesville 34-21.

“They’ve come up short by turning the ball over in games,” Cummings said. “But looking at them, they resemble Natchez in the way they run the spread offense. We just have to play disciplined.”

Offensively, Cummings hopes to see his team pound the rock, which has become the Trojans’ bread and butter.

“We’re not going to go away from what we do,” Cummings said.

The Trojans will battle for their playoff livelihood on the road at 7 p.m. Friday.