This is game No. 39 out of the top 40 games played by Concordia Parish teams.

You would probably have a hard time finding many Class 2A coaches very excited about facing a Class 5A team on the road in their first ever football game as a head football coach.

Ferriday High head coach Stanley Smith was not your typical first-game coach.

The Trojans opened the 2017 season on September 1 at Alexandria Senior High.

"It was a big-time game," Smith said. "They had some guys who were Division I players and we had Dare (Rosenthal), Dantrieze (Scott) and Sam (Johnson). There were a lot of athletes on the field. It was a heckuva way to start my head coaching career."

It was also not your typical ballgame.

Rain all week forced the game to be moved to Tioga High on Saturday near noon. Tioga has a turf football field.

Temperatures at game time was in the 90s.

"The heat was unbearable," Smith said. "But our kids fought through it. Dantrieze and a couple of others had their cleats melt."

 The Trojans also lost current LSU offensive tacklee Dare Rosenthal to a mild concussion.

Ferriday won the game 37-27 despite muffing two punts, having an interception returned for a touchdown and collecting 18 penalties for 179 yards.

"That was the first game of many where we would get questionable calls," Smith said with a laugh.

But he wasn't laughing them, inevitably sending film of the game to Louisiana High School Athletic Association over some questionable calls.

"It's about the kids, I'm fighting for the kids," Smith said. "It doesn't have anything to do with coaches or fans. It should be all about the kids and giving them a fair chance."

Scott caught a pair of touchdown passes, while outside runs by Jerrius Scott gashed the ASH defense.

  In the first half, the Ferriday defense held ASH to 79 yards of offense, despite mounting 14 penalties for 132 yards.

"We brought a different brand of football to Cenla," Smith said. "We played physical and hard with some big-time players."

 Even though ASH was awarded 45 penalty yards — a personal foul on Rosenthal and two unsportsmanlike penalties on Ferriday gave ASH plenty of chances to score, but the Trojan defense held.

"Our defense was out there for 20 straight plays and kept them from putting it in," Smith said

Ferriday led 21-14 at halftime and 29-27 after three quarters. Scott scored the first touchdown on an 8-yard run and Johntez Curry added the point-after kick to put Ferriday up 7-0. Scott had 153 yards on 27 carries.

"Jerrius was running the ball big-time," Smith said. "He was hitting the holes and making plays."

Alexandria tied the game before sophomore Kobe Dillon passed 27 yards to Lewis Matthews, who made a one-handed catch for the score.

 "Kobe did a great job with his keys," Smith said. "His football IQ just keeps going up."

Alexandria went up 14-7 as Bud Clark, now a TCU Horned Frog, returned an interception 15 yards for a score. But Dillon teamed up with Dantrieze Scott on a 19-yard pass play and Scott ran in the conversion to put the visiting Trojans up 21-14 at halftime.

ASH tied the game at 21-21 on a TD pass, but Dillon found Jamien Green on a 19-yard pass play and Scott ran in the conversion to put the Trojans up 29-21.

Jorien Vallien caught his second TD pass from Ben Hesni to bring ASH to within 29-27.

Dillon found Scott on an 11-yard pass play to give Ferriday its 37-27 win after Jerrius Scott ran in the conversion.

Smith said he was proud of how his team persevered through the game.

"It was hot, we had the Gatorade flowing," Smith said. "The turf was so hot that I had some kids come over with what I thought were cramps, but they said their feet were burning."

Scott finished with three catches for 86 yards.

Sebastian Turner had an interception for Ferriday.

Smith said he felt that game played a big part in Ferriday's ultimate accomplishment of winning a Class 2A state championship last year.

"I think that game set the bar for everything we accomplished," Smith said. "It got everything going."

 

 

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