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Mangham ends Ferriday’s winning streak

By Skylar Wolfe

Special to the Democrat

FERRIDAYThe Mangham High School Dragons football team defeated the defending state champion Ferriday High School Trojans 42-36 Friday night at Melz Field to claim the LHSAA District 2-2 championship.

Mangham, ranked No. 9 in this week’s LSWA Class 2A poll, improved to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in district play and Ferriday fell to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in district play and saw its 19-game winning streak come to an end.

The game was close all night and was a defensive struggle in the first half. Stout defense produced seven combined punts in the first two quarters.

Mangham quarterback Kaleb Pleasant used his legs to kick-start the Dragons’ offense. Pleasant was happy with the results.

“You know we came into the game knowing they could move the ball, knowing they were good defensively,” Pleasant said. “We just had to fight till the end.”

Mangham’s defense stepped up, forcing two turnovers in the game, and holding Ferriday’s star running back Daminiya Milligan to just one first-half yard. An intercepted pass and return set the Dragons up at the Trojans’ 15-yard line.

Mangham running back Cam Wilmore scored from five yards out, the first of his two first-half touchdown rushes.

Mangham went into halftime with a 14-6 lead on the strength of its running game. The Dragons had 23 first half rushing attempts as a team.

Mangham head coach Scott Wilcher couldn’t have been happier with his teams’ performance.

“We preached we wanted to be in it at the end of the first quarter, the second quarter, third quarter, fourth quarter,” Wilcher said. “I’m proud of our kids, we were mentally tough.”

The third quarter saw both teams’ offenses wake up. Ferriday opened the quarter with a big run from Trojans running back Milligan as he broke off a 43-yard run.

The Trojans scored two touchdowns within three minutes to take a 22-14 lead.

Mangham did not quit though, as they answered back with a 50-yard touchdown run of their own to tie game at 22-all.

Ferriday would answer again with a 30-yard TD pass for a 30-22 lead, but it would not be enough as Mangham would score three unanswered touchdowns to take the lead.

Ferriday head coach Stanley Smith said he is still proud of his group and that it isn’t over.

“It’s not over yet. We got to get back to the drawing board. We still have more games left,” Smith said. “We just got to do our job better.”

The Ferriday Trojans (5-1) was scheduled to play at Delhi Charter School next Friday, but an outbreak of COVID-19 that affected members of the football team earlier in the week forced the Gators to cancel its next two games, including the Ferriday game. As of now, it is not known if Ferriday will play on Friday, Nov. 13. If not, its next game will be on Nov. 20 at Richwood High School to end the regular season.

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