Instant Classic: Trojans win parish rivalry on last minute interception

Published 11:42 pm Friday, September 30, 2022

VIDALIA, La. — A true rivalry game should be full of scoring, defense, turnovers, penalties and a late, game-deciding play. Ferriday vs. Vidalia in the Concordia Parish Classic on Friday had all of that and more.

And when the game ended with a 28-24 score, the Trojans walked away with a trophy and the district lead.

Vidalia came into the game undefeated, with a 1-0 record in the district. Ferriday moved to 2-0 which puts them at the top of district. 

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Ferriday’s Jerry Griffin Jr. made the play of the game as he picked off Vidalia quarterback Sema’J Hayes to seal the win. It was a deep shot to the end zone and the ball just fell into his hands. 

“It wasn’t my man and I came by and it came to me through the receiver’s hands,” he said. 

And like his fellow teammates, Griffin was thrilled with the win. “It was a big win today at their crib.”

Several factors played into the Trojans’ win, including their speed. “Coach Cummings has helped us and had us run gassers,” Griffin said. “We had to run them everyday, even on Saturdays. They slipped up on our speed today.”

Ferriday would have never been in position to win had Chavo Thomas Jr. not scored several big touchdowns with his legs. He broke a 30-yard touchdown run early in the game to tie things up, and had a 70-yard kickoff return for the touchdown that gave Ferriday the lead.. 

“To me it is really special. I love to compete, and we fought. We kept it going for all four quarters. I love Ferriday,” Thomas said. “That’s just the dog in me. I don’t stop until my heart does.”

Bobby Sheppard scored the winning touchdown on a 50-yard rush. 

Vidalia’s quarterback Hayes did his best to will the team to victory with two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns. 

Vidalia’s tight end Zion Bell made a spectacular play on a pass from Hayes. He caught the ball off of his shoelaces and powered through Ferriday defenders for a score. 

Jayden Turner proved critical to the Ferriday defense, blocking and recovering a punt for a touchdown. It was one of two costly special teams mistakes for Vidalia, Vikings head coach Mike Norris said.

“It’s just disappointing,” he said. “We thought we could take advantage of something. They did great things with their speed and we couldn’t match up with it. We got down inside the red zone and could not score three times. On that kickoff, I should have had us squib it or just onside kick it. We have covered kicks well all season though.” 

Vidalia’s playoff hopes hinge on the remaining five games, as Louisiana’s playoffs are based on power points. 

Norris said they will get back to work Monday with a short turnaround for Thursday’s game at Mangham. 

“I know these kids. They will show up and work hard,” Norris said. “It hurts. It is going to hurt all weekend but we will come out Monday and focus on Mangham. It will hurt for those seniors. It is a big deal to win this game.” 

Ferriday plays General Trass next and do so with confidence. They are 2-0 in district and are building with Head Coach Cleothis Cummings motto “brick by brick.”