After finishing on top of Class 2A in the state of Louisiana, the Ferriday Trojans dominate the 2019 All-Parish Football Team.
Ferriday High head coach Stanley Smith is the Coach of the Year.
Ferriday seniors Kobe Dillon and Byron Milligan are the Players of the Year.
Ferriday captured the Class 2A state title by defeating Many 56-17 on December 13.
The Trojans finished 14-1.
Smith led Ferriday to the Class 2A semifinals the past two years since arriving at his alma mater in 2017, and the state championship this year.
“It’s surreal just to be state champions at home,” Smith said. “This is something I’ve been trying to do my whole life and to able to accomplish this is something that dreams are made of.”
Smith said there was no certain time or game when he felt like the Trojans could win it all.
“I knew this was a special group the whole time,” heh said. “This is year three for us in the program. We had a great off-season conditioning program. All the kids were here. We didn’t have to chase kids down. We weren’t getting excuses from anybody. They were there working hard to get to this point right now.”
Smith said the team chemistry was outstanding this season.
“Out of my three teams, this team was probably as close as any group I had,” he said. “They always hang together. They understood the task at hand. They understood the expectations. We talked about championships from day one, it wasn’t something we were just drawing up in the dirt or fantasizing about. This is what we wanted.”
And what the coaches and players will always cherish.
“They are champions forever,” Smith said. “This is something no one can take away from them. There’s more to being a champion on the football field. If you can win on the football field, you can find a way to win in life. And that’s something we harp on. Outside of football I want these kids to be positive role models in society. “
Dillon was 120-of-199 for 2,112 yards and 23 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He rushed for 1,730 yards for 116 yards and 21 TDs.
Dillon injured his ankle in the first game of the 2018 football season after being hit out of bounds at Alexandria Senior High.
Dillon returned for the fifth game of the season against General Trass.
“It took away a little of my mobility,” Dillon said. But it also motivated me to push hard and hit the weights harder to where I would be less likely to get injured.”
Dillon, who attended Concordia Parish Academy up until 2016, said he knew this year’s team was capable of going all the way.
“It was championship or bust,” he said.
But it really wasn’t until the fourth game of the season in a 50-0 win over Rayville that Dillon really felt this season could be special.
“That’s when I ‘really’ got the feeling,” he said.
In the playoffs, it’s taking a series or two before Dillon took the game over at quarterback.
On the Trojans’ second series early in the second quarter in the title game against Many, Dillon lofted a perfect pass to Elijah Ward covering 17 yards for a touchdown that was just over the fingers of Many defensive back Ze’Quarrius Rhone for the Trojans’ first score of the game.
“I have to slow everything down sometimes,” Dillon said. “I had to slow the game down in my head. That’s when my mindset kicked in.”
Dillon was named Most Outstanding Player of the Game in the championship game after accounting for 225 yards and four touchdowns. The senior Trojan quarterback was 8-of-12 for 174 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 12 times for 51 yards and two TDs.
“I usually have the option of handing off or running the ball,” Dillon said. “If it’s a zone read I am looking at the end. “If it’s a power run I look for the lane and it’s a run all the way.”
Dillon said the entire team is grateful for the support in the Superdome.
“When I walked out of that tunnel and heard the band and the loud cheering from our fans I thought I was back on Melz Field,” he said
Dillon is being recruited by Southern, Stephen F. Austin, McNeese State. Northwestern, Nicholls State and Grambilng
Dillon said he loves playing quarterback, and does not want to play another position in college.
“I love being able to take control of the game and knowing it’s in my hands,” he said. “I have to work more on my short game before the next level.”
The current level is certainly something Dillon will always remember.
“It’s a great way to end,” he said.
Milligan finished the season with 1,437 rushing yards on 118 carries and 25 touchdowns.
Milligan lined up at many different positions on offense this season for the Trojans, and also played cornerback and safety.
“I’m an athlete and I’m going to ball out,” Milligan said.
In the state championship game, Ferriday got the ball at their own 11 on a Many punt with 1:52 remaining.
After a 5-yard loss, Dillon threw a short pass to Milligan who zigged-zagged past two defenders before speeding down the sideline on his way to the Many 13-yard lone for an 83-yard play — the longest pass play ever in a Class 2A contest. On the next play, Dillon ran 13 yards for the score and ran in the conversion for a 28-3 lead which they held into halftime.
“I saw where coach signaled in the play,” Milligan said. “I found an open spot and Kobe got me the ball. I was just trying to make something happen. I was hoping to score. It feels good to be part of history.”
Milligan also said the Rayville game is when he saw everything coming together.
Milligan said he knew Ferriday would win state after the Trojans took their first lead at 6-3 midway through the second quarter when Trojan junior defensive end Kylyn Lewis sacked Rhone, caused a fumble that was recovered by Trojan defensive lineman Roosevelt Davis at the Many 31.
“I knew when Kylin made that sack and forced the fumble and Roosevelt (Davis) recovered it the game was over,” Milligan said. “And the sweetest sound was that final horn.”
Joining Dillon and Milligan in the backfield is Delta Charter junior running back Tre Griffin and Vidalia senior Devin Green.
Griffin rushed 184 times for 1,246 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also caught five passes for 70 yards.
Green rushed for 1,211 yards with 10 touchdowns.
The athlete on the all-parish team is Delta Charter senior quarterback Kavarius Whitehead.
Whitehead passed for 786 yards and rushed for 645, accounting for 18 touchdowns.
The wide receivers are Ferriday junior Elijah White and senior Justin Burns.
White caught 44 passes for 1,105 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Burns caught 27 passes for 467 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 19-yard touchdown run in the state championship game.
The offensive line is made up of Ferriday senior offensive tackle Roosevelt Davis, Trojan junior center Vincent Hollins, Ferriday senior lineman Keandrick Carter, Trojan sophomore lineman Dontavious Henderson, Delta Charter senior Cole Beard and Vidalia senior Tray Jordan.
The All-Parish defensive line consists of Vidalia junior Christian Davis, Viking senior CJ Chatman, Ferriday juniors Kylin Lewis and Blake Tarver.
Chatman collected 78 tackles and five sacks.
Lewis finished with 107 tackles and 15 sacks. He had 10 solo tackles, two assists, a sack and forced fumble in the state championship game.
Tarver finished the season with 83 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, eight sacks and an interception he returned for a touchdown.
Davis had 38 tackles and three sacks.
Linebackers are Ferriday senior Tevyn Byrd, Vidalia senior Cam’Ron Randall, Delta Charter senior Chandler Harrison and Ferriday junior Kobe Johnson.
Harrison finished with 134 tackles, 73 solo, and had two sacks.
Randall finished with 61 total tackles and an interception.
Byrd finished with 153 tackles and 13 tackles for losses. He had 10 tackles against Many.
Johnson totaled 110 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks and four interceptions.
Cornerbacks are Vidalia sophomore Christian Wright, Ferriday seniors Damion Milligan and Sebastian Turner and Viking senior Curtis Washington.
Wright led the Vikings with seven interceptions. Washington collected 45 tackles.
Turner finished the season with 69 tackles, seven pass break-ups and four interceptions.
Milligan had 41 tackles, four interceptions and six pass break-ups.