History Makers: Vidalia beats parish rival Ferriday for first time since 2008

Published 2:12 am Saturday, October 14, 2017

Every moment that passes — every tick of the clock, the Earth’s history book adds another page.

Friday night, Vidalia High School just happened to write a page its players, fans and coaches will likely cherish for a very long time.

The LHSAA Class 2A Vikings (6-1, 3-1) took an early lead over parish rival Ferriday High, ultimately holding on to a stunning upset over the No. 1 Trojans, 20-12.

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The win marks the first time Vidalia has defeated Ferriday (5-2) since 2008.

“All of this goes to my assistant coaches,” Vidalia coach Dee Faircloth said. “They put together a great game plan, and they executed. This is the new Vidalia. It’s the old Vidalia coming back in a new form.”

Vidalia opened up with its first touchdown less than two minutes into the action, finding the end zone after just three plays.

After a 47-yard trick pass play on it’s first play from scrimmage, Cam’Ron Randall found an open hole up the middle for the 17-yard touchdown.

“That was a long game, but we came in with the hype from the start,” Randall said. “We knew we had it. We are trying to be another Vidalia. We are trying to be the ones that go all the way to state. It feels really good.

“I’m going to remember we won, the score, the offense, the defense, blocks, tackles — all of it. All of it.”

The Vidalia defense was able to stuff Ferriday on its first offensive drive, though Trojan quarterback Byron Milligan did open with a 40-yard run.

Ferriday had a difficult time getting into an offensive rhythm afterward, totaling just five first downs before trailing at halftime, 20-0.

After striking first, Vidalia ultimately gained the win by chipping away on long drives.

Early in the second quarter, Viking quarterback Tristan Weatherly connected with DeMikal McCoy for a 17-yard touchdown. The drive was kept alive by a personal foul penalty on the Trojans.

Weatherly ended the night passing 8-for-13 for 90 yards and one score. He had no interceptions.

“This is awesome,” Weatherly said. “It was the whole team coming together to beat the No. 1 team in the state.”

Just as it seemed Ferriday might respond before halftime, Vidalia’s Moose Musa recovered a fumble in the end zone for the final Vidalia score.

Braden Randall forced the fumble.

“They were pulling toward my side, I just saw it,” Musa said. “It was the best feeling ever.”

Ferriday cranked up its energy during the second half, scoring its first touchdown with 3:23 remaining in the third quarter.

After another long run from Milligan on the drive, he scored on a 12-yard rush.

The Trojans scored again with less than four minutes to go, as Jamien Green caught a 50-yard pass from Milligan.

However, Vidalia was able to hold them until the clock cemented its win in history.

Flipping through the pages of his personal history book, Faircloth can remember a lot of Ferriday games. In fact, it was his very first game as head coach in 1968.

“It was a jamboree game against Ferriday, and we tied 6-6,” he said. “I thought I was the greatest coach in the world.”

Later that same year, Faircloth remembers his first official game against the Trojans.

“Out of 22, I had 17 starters out with injuries. At the half, we were ahead 12-7. We ended up losing, but it was a great effort out of my kids,” Faircloth said.

While these games are kept alive by the pictures Faircloth paints with his memory, he said he should have no problem holding on to Friday’s win.

Just like the first time, he said the fight of his Vikings is what he will remember most.

“They fought their little tails off,” he said. “There was no one in this state that said we could beat Ferriday. For them to come out here and do that, it’s tremendous.

“We’ve had some good ones, but I’ll always remember this one.”