Ferriday falls to West St. John in overtime

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 14, 2015

FERRIDAY — Minutes before the first round of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 2A playoffs, Ferriday assistant coach Slick Matthews greeted his senior defensive lineman Marquis Brown on the sideline.

“Hey, don’t let this be the last ride,” Matthews said.

Little did both know, that last ride would be an overtime thriller, as No. 17 West St. John defeated the No. 16 Ferriday Trojans 21-20.

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It took West St. John four plays to punch it into the end zone in the overtime period, but a one-yard Kylon Duhe rush and extra point that followed gave the Rams a 21-14 advantage.

The Trojans wasted no time answering. On the first play of the overtime possession, quarterback Ronald Williams dropped back and found Ja’Shon Foster on a slant for the 10-yard score to bring the Trojans within one. Sophomore lineman Dare Rosenthal went to celebrate with Foster following the reception, but Foster shook him off, pumping his hands and readying himself for the two-point conversion that followed. With Foster spread out left — kissing his hand and bringing it to his chest before pointing to the sky — the Trojans ran a quarterback keeper and were stopped a yard short, prompting the seniors to collapse on the field in agony.

“We thought we had a good call,” Ferriday head coach Dwight Woods said. “The lead was supposed to be ran a little wider, but I called the play.”

The Trojans almost didn’t make it to overtime, trailing the Rams 8-6 midway through the fourth quarter.

Ferriday had its opportunities to take advantage of good field position, but turnovers (four total) nullified production from the Trojans. The Trojans’ best opportunity came late in the third quarter after a Dare Rosenthal sack on fourth down gave Ferriday the football on the 50-yard-line. However, because Williams was playing safety on defense, he suffered from cramps and had to come out of the game, forcing Woods to put Dominique Jackson at quarterback. On a third down, Jackson handed the ball off to running back Ronald Davis who dropped back to pass and threw an interception to West St. John’s Jamal Walters.

Woods said he felt he had to play Williams on defense, which he believed helped slow down the Rams’ offense.

“He’s the best safety we have, the best cover guy we have,” Woods said. “He’s a D1 safety. We had to roll the dice and put him out there to play.”

Ferriday would get another opportunity. With Williams back in at quarterback, Ferriday took the lead in the fourth.

The Trojans mounted a drive from its own 14-yard line, sparked by a 29-yard Foster reception and 25-yard Milak Hampton run. The drive culminated in an 8-yard touchdown pass to Foster on a play that would be contested by West St. John players and coaches, drawing three personal foul penalties. The penalties were assessed on the extra-point try and the ensuing kickoff. The Trojans took advantage as Davis ran in the two-point conversion from one-yard out to give Ferriday a 14-8 lead with four minutes to go.

West St. John and Ferriday each went three-and-out, and a poor Ferriday punt gave the Rams the football on the Ferriday 41-yard line with 27 seconds to play. West St. John quarterback Jemoine Green connected with Jabari Walters on a medium gain before a late hit out of bounds placed the ball on the 19-yard line. Two plays later, Green found a wide-open Walters down the sideline for the score, and the extra point that followed was missed to send the game into overtime.

“We just blew the coverage,” Woods said. “We bit down on the first move.”

Foster led the team with 94 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while Hampton led the team in rushing with 66 yards. Williams passed for 145 yards and three touchdowns and an interception in the loss.

Following the game, Brown said he couldn’t believe his last ride came to an abrupt end.

“It was my last game,” Brown said. “We were supposed to win.”

Ferriday finished its season at 5-6.