Trojans will have to bounce back from Thursday night loss

Published 11:56 am Friday, October 13, 2023

FERRIDAY — The Oak Grove High School Tigers proved yet again how good they really are as the defending LHSAA Non-Select Division IV state champions took care of the Ferriday High School Trojans 42-12 last Thursday night in a key District 2-2A game at Melz Field.

With the win, Oak Grove, currently No. 6 in this week’s Non-Select Division IV power ratings, improved to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in district play while Ferriday, No. 5 in this week’s Division IV power ratings, fell to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in district play.

The Trojans’ defense had no answer for the Tigers’ duo of junior quarterback Jackson Bradley and junior running back Jay Freeman. Freeman scored on a 12-yard run with about 8:00 left in the first quarter and a 10-yard run with nearly 4:00 to go until halftime. His second touchdown gave Oak Grove a 28-0 halftime lead.

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“Oak Grove is tough. Since (head) coach (Ryan) Gregory took over in 2014, they’ve continued to do what they’ve been doing. We couldn’t slow them down once they got their motor running,” Ferriday head coach Cleothis Cummings III said. “They overpower you. They’re real physical and get the job done.”

Meanwhile, Bradley threw a 11-yard touchdown pass to Tj Layton late in the first quarter and then scored on a two-yard run less than a minute into the second quarter. Bradley added a six-yard touchdown run with about 8:00 remaining in the second quarter for a 35-0 Tigers lead.

It was a rough second quarter for Ferriday junior quarterback Caleb Ellis, who threw four interceptions to four different Oak Grove defensive players — senior strong safety Spencer Foster, senior outside linebacker Colin-David Anderson Jr., junior Seth Ray, and one unnamed player.

“Just bad-decision throws,” Cummings said.

Tigers junior halfback Owen Layton got in on the act with a three-yard touchdown run with nearly 5:00 left in the third quarter for a 42-0 lead.

Ferriday finally got on the scoreboard with nearly 10:00 left in the fourth quarter on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ellis to Dariyon Brown. But the two-point conversion pass was no good.

The Trojans scored again with less than a minute to go in the game on a 35-yard TD pass from Ellis to Brown. They went for two again, but the rushing attempt failed.

“We’re still climbing. We’re still trying to get better. The season’s still here,” Cummings said. “We’ve got to bounce back. We’ve got to regroup. We’ve got to stay consistent to stay in it.”

Ferriday will look to get back on track when they play host to District 2-2A foe Mangham High School. The Dragons had won two of their last three games to go to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in district play going into their district showdown at home against a Madison Parish High School Jaguars team that had lost three straight games to go to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in district play.