This is game No. 25 of the top 40 games featuring Concordia Parish team.  

Even with playoff berths secured, Vidalia and Ferriday High went into the last game of the 1967 regular season focused on the task at hand.

After all, winning the Concordia Parish championship was just as important as winning a playoff game, especially after both teams played to a 13-13 a year earlier.

In another parish nail-biter, Ferriday defeated Vidalia, 7-0.

"Those were always great games," said Bulldog defensive end Mike Rabb. "We had a some motivation because they played for state the year before, even though we all went to the game and were 150 percent behind them."

Ferriday had wrapped up the District 2-AA title and would be hosting Springhill in a first round playoff game, while Vidalia finished 4-1 in District 4A with its only Class A loss coming to district champion WInnsboro, 7-6. Winnsboro would go on to win the Class A state championship.

The Vikings were coming off a year in which they lost to Buras in the Class A state championship title game in Vidalia.

The packed stands at Melz Field showed the interest in the playoffs would have to wait.

Ferriday head coach Bobby Ray Mahaffey and assistant coach Bill Zimmerman saw their team defeat Caldwell 30-6 to finish unbeaten in district.

Don Alonzo's Vidalia team was coming off a 27-7 district win over Oak Grove.

The Vikings returned only one offensive starter, Alford Beach at tackle, and two on defense, Beach and defensive lineman Mike Morgan, who also played quarterback.

Beach also averaged 37.2 yards punting a game and was 4-of-4 passing the ball from punt formation.

Coach Alonzo was the finest coach to ever put on a pair of britches," Beach said.

Danny Ford, a junior for Vidalia, who would earn all-district honors at halfback on offense and defense, said Alonzo was disciplined and fair, but was not a "rah-rah type of coach."

"You knew where you stood with him and he treated freshmen and seniors just the same," Ford said. "We would run everything over and over. He believed if we executed the plays the right way, we could beat anybody. The plays were simple, but each play was built off another play. He also preached to us that the team that practiced the hardest during the week, was going to win on Friday night."

As for the Concordia Parish rivalry?

"There was a lot of hype back then," said former Viking Jimmy Hibbs, who would go on to set rushing records at Vidalia High. "People in the community were more involved then. The entire atmosphere changed the week we played Ferriday."

Before one Ferriday game, Bulldog fans hung up a dummy with a jersey displaying Hibb's No. 22 with arrows in it.

"The emotions were extremely high," Hibbs said. "Both clubs were very strong and the game energized the whole community. It was almost like a hatred, but there was a lot of respect, as well."

"There was always a lot of emotion that week and the coaches always built that game up," Ford said. "We knew a lot of their guys and would seem them out and about. It was always the last game of the year, which added more to it."

Ferriday was led by running back Jim Burroughs, who averaged 141 yards rushing a game.

Running back J.D. Martin totaled 547 rushing yards on 121 carries. He scored 96 points running in touchdowns and kicking extra points. 

Seven of those points came against Vidalia on a 51-yard run on fourth-and-one play, followed by his extra point kick.

"J.D. had a bad habit of looking where he was going to run," Beach said. "He would stare at the hole. Pat Greer was playing tackle on the other side. I would yell at him that J.D. was coming to his side. I didn't even hit my man, I just went where J.D. was going. He went wide on that play he scored on. I had the angle on him and I grabbed a wrinkle in his shirt, but couldn't get my finger in there. I ended up running  into a hurricane fence they had around the field. J.D. told me later that was the fastest he has ever run when he saw me coming."

"Alford was the next-to-last person to put his hands on me," Martin said. "He had a big smile on his face. I put it into another gear and that smile went to a frown real quick. We were all good friends, but there was a lot of pride riding on that game."

Vidalia did threaten just before halftime. But Morgan felt backwards just inches short of the Bulldog goal line as he was wrapped up by Barnette Harp.

Ronnie Randall then came up short of the goal line as Mike Rabb penetrated for the tackle.

"They had some good plays up the middle so I stacked up more inside," Rabb said.

The Bulldogs had 155 yards on offense, while holding Vidalia to 112.

Burroughs was held to 38 yards rushing on the night.

Ferriday fell to Springhill 14-7 in a first-round playoff contest to finish 7-3-1.

Vidalia beat Homer 6-0 in the first round and tied Kinder 0-0 in the quarterfinals, losing the game because Kinder had 11 first downs to five for Vidalia, which served as a tiebreaker at that time.

Vidaila threatened when Mike Morgan returned a punt 51 yards to the Yellow Jacket 6-yard line, but Kinder recovered a fumble to end the scoring threat.

But it was the Vidalia-Ferriday game Bulldog players remember the most.

"We couldn't get to the barber shop fast enough the next day," Rabb said. "That's where you heard what you did right and wrong. But it was especially good if you had a good game."


(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.