Melz Field magic: Ferriday pulls off comeback in true Trojan fashion
Published 1:14 am Saturday, November 1, 2014
Overwhelmed by making the game-winning reception on a 2-point conversion attempt with 53 seconds remaining against (4-5) Jonesboro-Hodge, (5-4) Ferriday wide receiver Allen Cummings’ eyes filled with tears as he embraced his teammates.
The 2-point conversion was the culmination of a last-minute, game-winning drive that Cummings kept alive on a 4th-and-10 from Ferriday’s own 7-yard line, down 14-7 with three minutes to play in the game. Ferriday quarterback Shannon Morales took the snap, rolled to his left and threw beyond the sticks, making Cummings high-point the ball and stretch every bit of his 5-foot-11 frame to make the first down catch. Before the play, Cummings, who Ferriday normally calls upon on third-and-long situations, was anticipating his number being called.
“I said man, I hope I get it,” said Cummings with tears rolling down his face after the win. “I did what I had to do to separate myself from the cornerback, made the catch, stretched the ball out and made the first down.”
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Morales, who made plays with his feet all night — hurdling Jonesboro-Hodge defenders and stiff arming would-be tacklers into the ground — leaned on his arm for a 93-yard scoring drive that led to a 15-14 Trojan win. Following the first down conversion to Cummings, Morales hit J’Shon Foster for a 40-yard gain. On the previous drive, Foster was pulled for dropping a long pass, but got in Ferriday head coach Cleothis Cummings’ good graces after making a tough reception on the sidelines. After a six-yard Morales run to get the team to Jonesboro-Hodge’s 35-yard line, Cleothis called season-leading rusher Dontrell Domino’s number on a screen pass to get the Trojans to the 21-yard line. Morales carried the ball to the 9-yard line on the ensuing play, as the clock ticked down to under a minute. On second down, Morales dropped back to pass and hit Domino on a flare pattern, who made the reception, falling backwards into the end zone for the touchdown, making the score 14-13 in favor of Jonesboro-Hodge.
Cleothis knew immediately that he would go for the win, instead of kicking the extra point.
“You want to try and go ahead and get them out,” Cleothis said. “We are used to going for two, and the players we have, I’d rather go for two there. That’s just a gut thing.”
Once again, Cleothis called upon his veteran wide receiver, as Morales climbed the pocket and threw to a diving Cummings that secured the catch.
“I’m a senior so I have to make plays,” said Allen. “They tell me to do something and I go do it.”
Jonesboro-Hodge threatened with 53 seconds left in the game, returning a kick to Ferriday’s 37-yard line, however, Marquis Brown recorded a sack for the Trojans on the first play of the drive, prompting the clock to run. Three plays later, Ronald Williams would record an interception for Ferriday as the time expired to seal the win.
While the game might have ended spectacularly, the full 60 minutes was far from pleasing for Cleothis and his staff. The Trojans had a total of seven turnovers in the game, fumbling the ball five times. Still, with his team getting the ball back late in the game with a chance to win, he had faith that his players would respond in the face of adversity. They did just that, spiking Cleothis’ blood pressure in the process.
“I don’t have blood pressure problems, but I think I might have to go to the doctor tonight to check it out,” Cummings said. “This is what football is all about.”
The Trojans outgained the Tigers 401 to 224 in total offense, and Morales led Trojans with 97. Morales also had 154 yards through the air and two passing touchdowns. Domino had 66 rushing yards and 41 receiving yards to go along with one score.
Ferriday will host General Trass Friday in the final game of the regular season.