Mangham High used the legs of running back Jalen Williams and quarterback T.J. Bell to defeat Ferriday 36-0 on a muddied Melz Field Friday in a game delayed for an hour by lightning.
The loss dropped Ferriday to 0-4, the first time a Trojan team has started out 0-4 since 1978.
”We just didn’t play well,” said Ferriday coach Stanley Smith. “We didn’t execute on either side of the ball. We were down a couple of linemen, and just haven’t had any kind of continuity. We just have to keep cutting wood.
Mangham, the defending District 2-2A champion, improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in district with the win.
“We changed up the way we do things in practice last week,” said Mangham head coach Scott Wilcher. “We worked more on game-like situations and I think that really worked out for us. Our offensive line played extremely well, probably it’s best game of the year.”
Mangham led Ferriday 20-0 at halftime, missing a chance to go into the locker room with a bigger lead when a fumbled snap at the Trojan 2-yard line with eight seconds remaining kept the Dragons from increasing their lead.
“Our kids don’t understand that eight seconds is a long time, and they got into too big a hurry and our center snapped it back at about 85 miles per hour,” Wilcher said.
Mangham scored on its first possession of the second half, going 64 yards in seven plays all runs by Wiliams and Bell. Williams finished off the drive with an 8-yard run.
On its next possession, Mangham converted a third down and 18 yards to go as Bell and Williams combined on a 23-yard pass play as Williams broke several tackles to get the first down.
“I think that play typified the game,” Wilcher said. “Jalen is hard to bring down.”
Williams finished with 239 yards on 34 carries and five touchdowns.
Mangham converted a fourth-and-four before Williams scored on a 2-yard run with 11:32 remaining in the game. Bell ran in the conversion.
Bell was 3-of-5 passing for 29 yards, while rushing for 89 yards on 11 carries.
Mangham moved the ball to the Ferriday ball late in the game where Bell took at knee at the Trojan 4-yard line to end the game.
Ferriday visits Southern Lab in Baton Rouge Friday. The Kittens, 4-2, lost to Dunham on Friday.
“They are going to be fired up coming off a loss,” Smith said. “We just have to work out some kinks and be ready to play.”