Vidalia, Ferriday rivalry could have championship stakes

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, October 10, 2018

VIDALIA — The latest chapter of the Concordia Parish rivalry between the Ferriday High School Trojans and the Vidalia High School Vikings will take place Friday at 7 p.m.

It will take place at the stadium that is named for the longtime and current Vidalia head coach — Dee Faircloth Viking Stadium. And it is not only for parish bragging rights for the next year, it could very well determine which team will win the LHSAA District 2-2A championship.

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“It is a big game. Parish rivals. Winner of this game has the inside track to the district championship. It doesn’t get any bigger than this,” Faircloth said. “It’s going to be a big crowd. It’s going to be one of the biggest we’ve had in years.”

Last year at Melz Field on Ferriday’s campus, the Vikings turned a lot of heads with a stunning 20-12 win over the Trojans. Now it’s the Trojans’ shot at redemption.

“It’s a huge game for the district championship. We want to make sure that we’re firing on all cylinders Friday night. Our goal is to win the district championship. It just so happens that Vidalia is in our way,” Ferriday head coach Stanley Smith said. “We want to be in a situation in which we are successful in a big game.”

Vidalia enters this game with a 5-1 overall record and a 3-0 record in district play after defeating General Trass High School 34-18 in the Panthers’ homecoming game last week.

“We started off fast. We had 18 points in the first quarter. Then we went in a stall for two quarters. Then we picked it up in the fourth quarter,” Faircloth said. “That was their homecoming. That was the biggest crowd they ever had in Lake Providence. We ought to be ready to go. It was a big win, especially on the road.”

Ferriday heads into this match-up at 3-3 overall after a rough 63-20 loss at Class 5A Denham Springs High School in which Smith said afterwards that his defense gave up too many big plays, the offense didn’t have any rhythm and that the Trojans were “undisciplined.”

When asked what will have to get better for Ferriday to beat Vidalia, Smith said, “We just have to execute everywhere. Play mistake-free football. Our motto is ‘alignment, assignment, execution’.

Yet Faircloth said that Ferriday is much better than they looked last Friday night and added that despite the 3-3 record, the Vikings will have their work cut out for them.

“They’ve got an outstanding ball club. They’re tough. They’re well-coached. They’re very athletic. Best team we’ll face all year,” Faircloth said. “Their defense is better than it was last year. They play good defense. They’ve played some tough competition.”

Smith said what concerns him the most about Vidalia is its passing game and playing team defense.

“They’re throwing the ball pretty good. We’ve got to make sure we do good in zone and man-to-man. We’ve got to put pressure on the quarterback. We have to make plays,” Smith said. “Defensively, they’re playing sound football. Just playing together.”

Faircloth said that it will have to take the best effort of the year for the Vikings to defeat the Trojans for the second straight year.

“If we’re not focused, we’re going to be in trouble. We’re going to have to play our best game ever to even stay on the field with them,” Faircloth said.

Speaking of focused, that’s what Smith said is his players’ mindset heading into this rivalry game.

“They’re holding each other accountable on and off the field. Making sure we take care of business. They didn’t forget last year. We want to make sure history does not repeat itself,” Smith said.

As far as what will be the x-factor in the outcome of this year’s showdown, both coaches had the same answer, but for different reasons — who wants it the most.

“Ferriday’s playing for revenge. They’re going to be fired up. I hope our kids are focused,” Faircloth said.

“It’s a rivalry game. How the ball bounces. Crazy things can happen. Just making sure you do whatever it takes to win,” Smith said.

As for who will have to have a big game for Vidalia to come out on top, Faircloth said, “Our quarterback (Tristan Weatherly), our receivers, and our defensive backs. Our offensive line will also have to step up.”

Smith, on the other hand, said everyone on his team will have to “come out on all cylinders” for Ferriday to come out victorious.

“Come out with mindset to play four quarters Friday night,” Smith said.

Montgomery at Block (Thursday night)

JONESVILLE — Coming off its best game of the season, albeit in a loss, the Block High School Bears will play host to the Montgomery High School Tigers in an LHSAA District 3-1A game Thursday at 7 p.m.

Block is 0-6 overall and 0-2 in district play after a 20-8 defeat at the hands of Northwood-Lena High School last Friday night. Montgomery is in the ‘receiving votes’ portion of this week’s LSWA Class 1A poll – five votes, to be exact – and is 4-2 overall and 2-1 in district play after winning at St. Mary’s High School 28-22 in overtime last week.

The Bears will be seeking to avenge last year’s 57-36 home loss to Montgomery that not only ended the Tigers’ three-game losing streak, but also started a five-game winning streak.

Delta Charter at Tensas High

FERRIDAY — Something will have to give Friday at 7 p.m. when the Delta Charter School Storm and the Tensas High School Panthers – two teams with identical overall and LHSAA District 2-1A records – square off in St. Joseph, La.

Both teams are 1-5 overall and 0-3 in district play and both are also coming off blowout losses. Delta Charter gave up 30 points to Delhi High School in the first half of a 36-10 home loss to the Bears. Tensas High lost on the road to LSWA Class 1A No. 5 Oak Grove High School 52-6.

When these two teams faced each other in Ferriday last year, the Storm shut out the Panthers 44-0.

Delhi High at Sicily Island

SICILY ISLAND — The Sicily Island High School Tigers will look to back to the .500 mark in LHSAA District 2-1A, but it will not be easy as they play host to the Delhi High School Bears Friday at 7 p.m.

Delhi High is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in district play after its 36-10 win on the road over Delta Charter School. Sicily Island is 3-3 overall and 1-2 in district play after a closer-than-expected 35-28 loss at St. Frederick High School.

The Tigers will also be seeking revenge after losing at Delhi High 44-14. In fact, all of the Bears’ three wins last year were against district opponents – Delta Charter, Sicily Island, and Tensas High School.