This is game No. 8 of the top 40 games featuring Concordia Parish team.
The seemingly untouchable 54-games without a loss streak by Ferriday High in the 1950s came to an end with the 1957 season-opening contest against Block High.
But what a run it was. And what a way to finish off the streak.
“Nobody was expecting much from us because of the quality players we lost from the year before,” lineman Frank Brocato said of the 1956 Ferriday Bulldog football team. “But it was certainly a great way to go out.”
“When we started winning so many games, every team we played had a big incentive to be the one to knock us off the block,” said Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Johnny “Red” Robertson. “But it was kind of motivational for us. The biggest problem was keeping our guys from getting overconfident. We didn’t talk about the streak too much. I figured if we talked about it, it put too much pressure on them.”
Robertson passed away in February of 2013.
The Bulldogs faced St. Amant at Melz Field for the 1956 Class A state championship.
St. Amant defeated St. Francis of Houma and then received a bye before facing Ferriday.
Despite rain all day long, 2,000 braved the elements to watch Ferriday go for its fourth straight state championship.
“It was wet and muddy,” said Ferriday back Donnie Daye. “They took diesel and oil and poured it on the water and set it on fire to try and burn some of the water off the field. St. Amant had a running back named St. Amant and I tackled him on a sweep one time and he must have slid about 15 or 20 yards in that mud. He jumped up, came up to me and said, ‘This is fun, ain’t it?’ I said, ‘It ain’t much fun to me. I about drowned on that tackle.’”
James Poole recovered a fumble to set up a 21-yard scoring run by Donnie Daye for Ferriday’s first score.
Daye, led the state in scoring with 130 points on the season, added a 50-yard run in the third period, going straight off tackle.
Daye, who passed away on Christmas Day of 2015, moved to Ferriday in the eighth grade. He led the state in scoring as a senior as Ferriday earned its fourth straight state championship.
Daye scored two touchdowns and the PAT as Ferriday beat St. Amant 13-0, giving the Bulldog 23 touchdowns and five point-after runs for a total of 143 points.
Daye went on to earn another title at LSU.
“What an honor to have played with the likes of Max Fuglar, Guy Hill, Tommy Brasher, Frank and Tony Brocato and all of the other excellent players during that era,” Daye said. “And I was fortunate to have been a part of the 1958 National Championship team, and the 1959 No. 3 team in the nation. I was so lucky during that time to have played with and blocked for Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon, runner-up for Heisman Trophy Jerry Stovall, Johnny Robinson, Roy “Moonie” Winston, Tommy Davis and so many that I can’t name them all.
“Throughout my career I had excellent coaches like Johnny “Red” Robertson and James Otto Lancaster who were far ahead of their time in the football coaching profession,” Daye added. “They molded a group of young guys into one heckuva a team. My college coaches, Paul Dietzel and Charles McClendon, have gone down in history as championship coaches.”
For his career, Daye totaled 80 wins, six losses, a tie, four high school state championships, one national championship and a No. 3 national ranking.
“My son, Daryl, told me, ‘I don’t know if that’s a record, but it sure is an excellent average,’” Donnie said. “I am grateful to God, my family and friends for the opportunities that I have been blessed with.”
St. Amant never got inside the Ferriday 40-yard line.
“If we had lost that game, it would not have been a successful season,” Warren Enterkin said.
Ferriday defeated LaSalle 28-0 in its first round playoff game and nipped Oakdale 26-21 in Oakdale in the semifinals.
“Oakdale ran the belly offense and their jerseys were the color of a football, and I could not find the ball,” Brasher said. “I was always tackling the faker.”
Robertson always made sure his team was in top shape.
“We used to run wind sprints a lot in a lot,” he said. “After practice the boys would be pooped out and I would run backwards and outrun them and make them mad.”
Robertson also positioned himself on the line during team scrimmages.
“They wanted to hit me so bad,” he said. “A lot of times I would play quarterback and start running the ball. As soon as they got close I just threw the ball up.”
Bastrop High School had its 49-game winning streak snapped in 2008 when the Rams fell to Evangel High, 28-22.
“I haven’t really been keeping up with it until someone points something out,” Robertson said. “I figured it would be gone a long time ago. It does seem to make it more special the longer it stands.”
Bastrop does hold down the second spot as they passed John Curtis, which won 43 straight games from 1979-82 and 43 straight from 1983-86.
Haynesville won 41 straight from 1990-92.
Ironically, it was Evangel who appeared to snap the streak back in the 1980s. Former Louisiana College and present PinevilleHigh head football coach Dennis Dunn had a 60-game winning streak at Evangel that was later cut to 30 because a player from Logansport was ruled ineligible in the late 1990s.
Former Bastrop head coach Brad Bradshaw said people would mention the Ferriday streak to him during the long run.
“It’s very difficult to keep a streak like that going,” Bradshaw said. “The pressure continues to mount and mount. You need to have pride in defeat and be a little humbled when you win.”
Bradshaw said going through the 49-game streak helps him appreciate what Ferriday did back in the 1950s.
“That’s a major accomplishment,” he said. “I never saw them, but heard about them. Those teams were amazing. I always wanted to talk to someone associated with it to see how they dealt with it.”
“I look back and remember how much I enjoyed what I was doing and sometimes wonder how we could get that many talented boys together that many years in a row,” Robertson said when talking about the streak years ago. “You may have success once out of every four years, I was fortunate to be part of good teams for four years. That was really special.The wins were a tribute to those boys,” he said. “I was glad to be a part of something like that. There is always a chance it will be broken, but that’s what records are made for.”