Williams, defense lead Ferriday past Mangham on senior night

Published 1:37 am Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ferriday quarterback Ronald Williams didn’t play his best game Friday night.
The senior signal-caller, however, delivered when his team needed him most.

Williams ran for a score and threw for another in the second half to help Ferriday beat Mangham High School 14-8 in a pivotal District 2-2A game.

“I’ll take an ugly victory anytime over a good-looking loss,” Ferriday High School coach Dwight Woods said.

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Williams completed 9 of 16 passes for 178 and two interceptions, but was sharper in the second half, throwing for 119 yards. He also added 30 yards on the ground.

Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Ferriday (6-3, 3-1) was in need of a spark in the third quarter and Williams provided one with

a long, 72-yard touchdown pass to Lewis Matthews on the Trojans first play of the second half.

Williams then put his squad ahead 14-2 after keeping a direct snap around the left end for a 6-yard run.

“With all the distractions — senior night — we lost focused at times,” Woods said. “But in the end, he made the big plays when we needed them, and that’s what you count on. Big-time player, he does everything you need.”
The win, however, didn’t come without drama as Mangham had a chance on its final possession with 15 seconds remaining near midfield. Ferriday stood tall as it forced its fourth turnover the night on a fumble, and Williams took a knee on the next to play to run out the clock.
While Williams and the offense sputtered in the first half, the Trojans defense rose to the challenge in keeping the Dragons (5-4, 1-3) from out of the end zone for most of the game.

Mangham didn’t score its first offensive points of the game with 81 seconds remaining.
“Our front seven, they got a good push and played well,” Woods said. “This is a real good team; they’ve been to the dome three years. They showed it even at the end; they never quit, they never gave up. They do everything they can to win.
“We want to take our hats off to them, but at the same time, we want to commend our guys for playing hard and getting the job done,” Woods said.

With the win, Ferriday now has a chance to at least tie for the district lead next week when it travels to face Ouachita Christian (8-0, 3-0). Woods said his team is looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s always good when you have your destiny in your own hands,” Woods said. “We have that opportunity now, we just have to go out and seal the deal. We just have to make sure we get it done.”

Dantrieze Scott had three catches for 35 yards and recorded a sack on defense for Ferriday. Fellow defensive lineman Dare Rosenthal chipped in with three tackles for loss and a sack.