We got the monkey off our backs.
We got rid of that burden.
We don’t have that hanging over our heads anymore.
Oh what a relief it is.
Pick any of the above to describe the scene at Ferriday High’s Melz Field Friday night.
For the first time this season, the Ferriday High football team enjoyed a win.
The Trojans celebrated Homecoming with a 32-22 win over Madison to keep from being the first Ferriday team to go winless since 1978.
It’s been the kind of year that just doesn’t happen at Ferriday High.
Well, not since 1978, that is. That year the Trojans went winless, the last time for a Ferriday team to go 0-for.
But that team did not have to deal with shutting down practice for two weeks twice just before the season because of Covid-19.
That team wasn’t two years removed from winning a state championship.
Things didn’t exactly start out great.
Ferriday High head coach Stanley Smith inserted Jytavis Holmes at quarterback and moved Sharone Finister out to wide receiver.
The Trojans started out with three incompletions. That’s more passes than they’ve thrown than in most games this year.
Madison started out their first possession with two straight five-yard penalties before Cory Moore busted a run off tackle and went 85 yards for a touchdown.
“We’re playing two-hand touch out there,” Smith screamed at the defense.
Before the Homecoming crowd could get fully situated the Trojans trailed 8-0.
But then it became the Jaquarius Davis show.
Davis scored the first of three touchdowns from 65 yards out and ran in the conversion to tie the game at 8-8.
Holmes then connected with Finister on a 30-yard touchdown — the first TD pass of the year for the Trojans to put Ferriday up 14-8.
Holmes was 7-of-18 for 72 yards on the night.
The passes and yardage are more than what the Trojans have been able to do combined all year.
But the play of the game came with 41 seconds remaining in the first quarter as Davis received the hand-off and was immediately engulfed by a Madison defensive tackle, but somehow managed to spin out of the tackle and reached 62 yards for the score.
After that score, the sideline official told me he was saying before the game Madison has a lot of speed. He said No. 17 (Davis) heard him and Saudi “You haven’t seen me yet.” He has now.
Davis finished with 341 yards rushing on just 14 carries. I had to dig around a bit to see if this was a school record.
I made calls to former Trojan coaches Jerry Baldwin, Cordell Bailey and James McFarland.
Baldwin said he never had one, Bailey did not know of any, and McFarland was not precisely sure.
I talked with former Trojan Adrian Bailey, who told me he thought Brennan Smith had a 300-yard game when he played in the early 2000s.
Smith is the son of former Ferriday standout Nathaniel Williams.
I sent Smith a message on Facebook, and he sent me a clip of a game against Crowville in which the then junior rushed for 354 yards against Crowville on Homecoming night in 2001.
Smith rushed for 2,201 yards that season, breaking his father’s record of 2,161 yards back in 1982.
Stanley Smith was a senior on that team.
I go thumbing through the 2002 papers and found in his first game as a senior, Smith rushed for 362 yards against Newellton.
Smith rushed for 1,537 yards his senior year, hampered by a sprained knee part of the season.
He also had a quarterback named Tyrrence Taylor, who was just as dynamic, and is unbelievably still playing semipro football in Texas.
There hasn’t been a lot to cheer about at Melz Field this year.
It was good to see positive things returning to Ferriday High Friday night. Even if they weren’t record-breaking.