Ferriday comes one yard short of defeating district foe Sterlington

Published 1:07 am Saturday, October 24, 2015

FERRIDAY — With one second remaining in a 55-52 contest, (4-4) Ferriday came one yard short of claiming a district victory against (6-2) Sterlington.

With a “big” shotgun package — defensive tackles Dare Rosenthal and Marquis Brown were lined up in the backfield — running back Ronald Davis took the snap and rolled to his right before being stuffed at the 1 as the clock expired.

Several Ferriday players collapsed to their knees, while Sterlington players ran to their sideline to celebrate. Davis took off his helmet and walked to the back of the end zone before being consoled by Ferriday head coach Dwight Woods, who hugged him.

Email newsletter signup

“I’m not upset at all,” Woods said. “He did what he thought he was supposed to do. That’s it. It was an excellent call, and it was an excellent job. I called it like that.”

Before the final play, Woods called for a Ronald Williams quarterback sneak with 18 seconds remaining. The play went short and Ferriday hurried to the line to spike the ball, getting it off with one second remaining. The Sterlington bench erupted, as head coach Jason Thompson protested the call.

“I didn’t think you could spike it out of shotgun,” Thompson said. “But hats off to our guys. They remained under control. I was the only one who wasn’t under control at the end there. They came through when it mattered most.”

The back-and-forth encounter between Sterlington and Ferriday began one-sided. A seemingly flat Ferriday team couldn’t slow down Sterlington’s powerful option attack, as fullback Tyler Muse scored the first two touchdowns of the game to give Sterlington a 14-0 advantage.

Ferriday got on the board late in the first quarter when Ronald Williams connected with running back Malik Hampton, who made two moves at the second level to break free and accelerate 45 yards down the field for the score, bringing Ferriday within seven. However, the Panthers struck again less than two minutes later when quarterback Devon Murphy hit Chase Carter for a 21-yard score.

On the ensuing possession, Ferriday’s Ronald Williams missed a wide-open Ja’Shon Foster, who made defensive back Jaylon King bite on a double move. Williams completed two of his 16 attempts in the first half. Woods said Williams regrouped in the second half after Davis and Hampton scored on rushes in the second quarter.

“We had confidence in him,” Woods said. “He needed to settle down and relax. Don’t try to win it on every throw. The kid has all of the ability in the world. I have all of the confidence in the world in these kids. They gave it everything they had.”

While the game ended with plenty of drama, the second half came down to the wire, as well. Sterlington mounted a last-minute drive before Murphy found Carson Clowers on a 20-yard touchdown as time expired. Woods called timeout before the PAT to discuss the play, as the Ferriday sideline argued the player was hit out of bounds before the score.

The score remained, giving Sterlington a 33-22 halftime lead. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Sterlington’s Kerry Brooks was bottled up before pitching it back to King, who took it all the way for the score. King has scored on a return in every district contest this season.

In the span of 19 seconds, Sterlington extended its lead from five to 18. But the Trojans responded.

Trojan linebacker Larry Scott recorded a sack fumble for his cousin David Scott to recover and return for a touchdown, making the game 40-28.

After another defensive stop — Rosenthal and Brown clogged the middle while Dantrieze Scott and Sam Johnson crashed in and made big hits on Sterlington backs — Ferriday regained possession. Williams dropped back to pass as Foster beat King again. This time they connected, and the pass went 71 yards for a score, drawing the Trojans within four after a successful two-point conversion.

In the fourth quarter, Rosenthal jarred a ball loose on a tackle before David Scott picked up another loose ball and returned it for six, giving the Trojans a 44-40 lead.

Williams threw his second interception later in the quarter, though, and Semaj Colvin returned the interception for the score, giving his team the lead again.

Two long Williams’ runs on the ensuing Ferriday drive set up a one-yard Davis touchdown to make the game 52-47 in favor of Ferriday before a four-minute, 75-yard drive culminated in a Muse three-yard score to give the Panthers a 55-52 advantage.

With the win, Sterlington improves to 1-2 in district and 6-2 overall, while the Trojans fall to 1-2 in district and 4-4 on the season.