This is game No. 35 out of the top 40 games played by Concordia Parish teams.
It was a game so exciting and memorable that it took two days to complete.
When the dust and mud cleared, Ferriday putlled out an exciting 28-26 win over Block in double overtime.
It was a dark and stormy night on September 12, 2014.
Actually the majority of the rain had moved out, leaving a muddy Melz Field. But the lightning in the sky for more than two hours kept coaches, officials and school administrators at Melz Field frustrated about what to do about the remainder of the Ferriday-Block football game.
"That was the strangest game I have ever been a part of," said Block High head coach Benny Vault. "It seems like it was yesterday."
"That was one of the strangest games," said former Ferriday High head football coach Cleothis Cummings. "It was also one of the biggest because they were big rivals. Our kids and their kids had connections just like kids from Vidalia. And the majority of my dad's family is from Jonesville. I definitely wanted the bragging rights. This was one of the best Block-Ferriday games ever."
Cummings served as head football coach at Ferriday High from 2012-15. He served 10 years as an assistant coach at Ferriday prior to that.
Block head football coach Benny Vault, who had missed Block's 12-8 loss to Ferriday a year earlier in Jonesville to watch his son, DaVonte Vault graduate from Army Ranger school in Georgia,
Both teams entered the game looking for their first win of the season after Ferriday fell to Natchez High 40-26, while Block opened its season with a 48-40 loss to Ouachita Christian as Raymond Plummer rushed for 237 yards. OCS’ Jake Slaughter, who went on to play baseball at LSU, had two touchdowns after stripping the football from two Bear players.
Before lightning invaded the area, Block showed some electricity of its own, going 72 yards to the Ferriday 1-yard line behind the running of Plummer and Taylor Perron-Krause, who would finish with his first 100-yard rushing game with 128.
Facing first-and-goal from the Ferriday 1-yard line, Perron-Krause received a high pitch going to the right and was hit by David Scott and Mikal Jefferson at the same time he received the ball, causing a fumble that was recovered by Mohnterrius Jefferson at the 8-yard line.
Ferriday moved the ball to the 36-yard line before play was stopped for lightning with 3:52 remaining in the first half.
Officials sent both teams to their locker room and Ferriday principal James Davis provided a lightning detector he had purchased three years earlier.
When lightning occurs within the 10 miles, officials must wait 30 minutes before resuming play.
Louisiana High School Athletic Association Commissioner Kenny Henderson said on the following Monday that if a school has a lightning indicator, they can use that to determine where the lightning is.
"If a school does not have a lightning indicator, they must go by site," Henderson said. "And that's tougher because you can see lightning further off."
Fans were asked to vacate the bleachers, finding shelter in different parts of the stadium. A few decided to head to the exit.
Officials kept pushing the re-start time back until around 9 p.m. when they made the decision to continue the game Saturday night.
"It was all about the safety of the kids," Cummings said. "That was the biggest thing. Coach Vault and I talked and we agreed that was for the best. The game was more intense the next day. The break gave us a chance to re-group and re-structure some things. We also addressed some corrections we had on Friday night."
Vault said he actually wanted to keep playing.
"We would have been in better shape because we run the ball and they pass it," Vault said. "And their fans were more fired up the next day. It was a disadvantage to us. But it was a great game. C.C. and I talk about that game all the time."
Ferriday sophomore Ronald Williams was making his second start at quarterback.
"That game that year was a battle," Williams said. "When it was postponed it made us more pumped because there was nothing going on Saturday and we knew everybody would be there. That was probably one of my better games."
When play resumed almost 24 hours later, officials spotted the ball on the Ferriday 31-yard line to begin play.
Then, at the end of first quarter, they changed ends, putting the ball at the 25 when it was at the 20.
Then, with no play clock, the Trojans were flagged for delay of game. But Ferriday coaches argued the back judge did not lift his hand at the 10-second mark. After a conference, officials waved off the flag. But the penalty had been marked off and Ferriday was ready to snap the ball with the Ferriday crowd screaming. Trojan coaches made the side judge aware and the five yards were stepped back off.
Block forced a punt and went 52 yards, converting a fourth-and-two at the Block 38-yard line. Plummer scored from 24 yards out to give the Bears the early lead. Perron-Krause ran in the conversion for a 8-0 score.
Ferriday scored on its next possession as Williams hit a streaking Davis down the right sideline for a 45-yard pass play that set up a 5-yard TD run by Dontrell Domino.
"I told Coach (C.J.) Cothern during the week we had to get Ronald (Davis) more involved in the offense," Cummings said.
The conversion failed after a penalty.
Ferriday went up 14-8 in the third quarter as Williams hit tight end Shannon Morales on a 17-yard scoring pass. Domino ran in the conversion for a 14-8 Block lead with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter.
Perrron-Krause returned the ensuing kickoff 19 yards to the Ferriday 49. Perrin-Krause finished off the drive with a 20-yard run with 42 seconds remaining in the quarter. The conversion failed, leaving the score at 14-14.
"We had pretty much kept Raymond in check because we focused on stopping him," Cummings said. "Taylor was a pit bull on another level. He's the type of athlete you love to coach. he gives you everything he has and leaves it all out on the field."
Perron-Krause went on to play football at Louisiana Tech and graduated, majoring in education.
"I called Taylor 'Money' because he's the one player who was self-motivated and always worked to better his game," Vault said. "I've been trying to get him back to Block to help coach."
Ferriday moved down to the Block 1-yard line early in the final period, but Domino was stopped by Plummer at the one.
Block moved the ball out to the 44-yard line, but a fumble was recovered by Jay Sommersville.
Neither team threatened from there and the game was tied 14-14 at the end of regulation.
"I was just thinking we have to win," Cummings said. "Block's defense was stout and they were keying inside on the run. We spread them out and isolated some one-on-one match-ups, putting kids in the right position."
Officials apparently weren't prepared for overtime on Saturday, because they had to borrow Ferriday assistant coach James Jones' quarter to flip for overtime. Play was resumed Saturday, so there was no opening kickoff.
Officials put the ball on the 20-yard line for the first overtime and the 10-yard line for the second overtime.
Henderson said later that officials did make a mistake by setting the ball on the 20-yard line for the first overtime, but realized in the second overtime it needed to be on the 10.
"Fortunately it did not affect anything because both teams scored in the first overtime," Henderson said.
Ferriday had the ball first from the 20-yard line, and on fourth down, Domino scored from one yard out.
The conversion failed.
Krause-Perron had a nine-yard run to the 1-yard line where Plummer ran it in on fourth down to tie the game.
Jefferson tackled Plummer on the conversion run short of the end zone.
In the second overtime, the ball was placed at the 10-yard line and Krause-Perron scored on first down. The conversion failed.
Ferriday had a five-yard penalty on first down.
"My hand was shaking," Cummings said. "I was thinking, 'Aw, man, here we go.'"
Williams passed to the back of the end zone to Morales on first down. Block defenders tipped the ball up and Morales came down with the catch to tie the game at 5:29.
"I told Coach to throw me the ball and I worked hard for it," Morales said.
"It was a regular pass play," Cummings said. "The quarterback made a good read on it. Shannon stayed focused."
Williams then rocketed a pass to Davis just inside the end zone for the win.
"That was the same play the Seattle Seahawks ran against the Patriots that was intercepted," Cummings said. "But 'Weedy' (Davis) came under it and grabbed it in."
"As soon as 'Weedy' got inside I squeezed it in that little window," Williams said. "I was happy when he caught it. That was an in-the-moment thing."
Williams, who is now a cornerback at Alabama after making All-JUCO at Hutchinson (Ks.) Community College, missed all but a first-round playoff loss to Oak Grove his freshman year because of a broken collarbone.
"Ronald was going to be my starting quarterback as a freshman," Cummings said. "But he was even better on defense. Anytime you can have a kid coming off the roof (from safety) and making tackles in the A-gap (between center and guard) you have something special. I saw the potential in Ronald back then."
"It was a great game," Vault said. "There were a lot of big plays. I was disappointed in my offensive line because we had told them exactly what to expect."
"We still made a lot of mistakes," Cummings said. "The ball bounced our way a few times. We missed a lot of opportunities in regulation. We let them hang around. But I give credit to Coach Vault and his staff."