Ferriday High battled Class 5A Alexandria Senior High to the wire, falling to the host Trojans 34-22.
ASH was ranked No. 11 behind Ruston in the LSWA preseason poll.
ASH scored on a long run with under two minutes left in the game to seal the win.
After a scoreless first quarter that included Ferriday stopping the Trojans at the Ferriday 12, ASH got on the board early in the second quarter for a 7-0 lead.
Alexandria went up 13-0 in the second quarter before a 53-yard pass from Ferriday's Kobe Dillon to Justin Burns gave the Trojans possession at the ASH 15 where Dillon ran it in for the score. Dillon ran in the conversion for a 13-8 score late in the second quarter.
But the home Trojans anwered by returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown to go up 21-8 at halftime.
"We gave up a big kickoff and punt return which hurt us," Smith said.
A 40-yard run by Byron Milligan on Ferriday's first possession of the second half put the visiting Trojans at the ASH 41.
Dillon, who finished with 164 rushing yards on 17 carries while passing for 79 more, scored on a 29-yard run and ran in the conversion for a 21-16 score.
A short TD pass and conversion kick put Alexandria up 28-16.
Ferriday Elijah White returned the ensuing kickoff to the ASH 33.
Dillon ran to the Trojan 7-yard line where Kobe Johnson took it in for the score.
The conversion failed leaving the score at 28-22.
After an exchange of punts, Ferriday recovered an ASH fumble on their own 6-yard line with 11 minutes remaining in the game.
Ferriday was forced to punt from near midfield with six minutes remaining.
ASH scored on a long run to seal the win.
"Kobe ran the ball well, but he missed a couple of passes," Smith said. "Our offensive line did a good job protecting. The guys played hard, we just have to do a better job of running to the ball and making the tackle."
Ferriday opens its home schedule Friday against Class 4A Plaquemine.
The Trojans visit Sicily Island September 20.
ASH hosts its second straight contest Friday against Brusly.