This is game No. 14 of the top 40 games featuring Concordia Parish team. Games 15 and 16 are on page 2B.
Call it The Drive II.
In 2002, Tyrrence Taylor led Ferriday on what I called “The Drive” in a playoff win against Homer.
After Homer took a 7-6 lead over Ferriday with 3:56 remaining in the game, Ferriday took over on its own 35-yard line and Taylor took over the game.
The senior signal-caller carried the ball eight times for 53 yards, going the final yard with 13 seconds remaining to give the Trojans a 14-7 win over the Pelicans.
Taylor completed a 13-yard pas to Chris Sheppard on fourth-and-12 in the final drive to the Pelican 43 with 1:59 remaining.
Twelve years later, another memorable drive took place that will not soon be forgotten by the large Homecoming crowd at Melz Field as Ferriday High defeated Jonesboro-Hodge 15-14 after turning the ball over a frustrating seven times.
Trailing 14-7, Ferriday received the ball on its 7-yard line following a Jonesboro-Hodge punt with 3:25 remaining.
Ferriday head coach Cleothis Cummings sent in passing quarterback Ronald Williams instead of starting quarterback Shannon Morales, who had made some amazing runs in the contest, but was struggling through the air.
“I saw some of the frustration showing on Shannon’s face, he is such a competitor,” Cummings said. “I just held him out to help him re-gain his composure.”
Cummings, now an assistant football coach at Delta Charter, helped Morales walk on at Hutchinson Community College this year as a defensive player.
Williams spent two years at Hutchinson before signing as a cornerback with Alabama this year.
Williams’ first pass was incomplete and his second pass hit the dirt in front of his intended receiver.
Cummings sent Morales back into the game on third down and his attempted pass was incomplete.
Morales ran to the sidelines begging for a play.
“I looked at Coach (Charles) Cothern and said, ‘What’cha think?’” Cummings said. “He said, ‘Go for it.’ So we called the play and told the seniors to make the play. If we had punted it would have actually put us in a tougher position.”
Considering a formidable one-two running punch for J-H in Jamion Williams and Tyrae Bradford, the risk was the right call.
Morales rolled left and hit Allen Cummings at the 19-yard line where Cummings was tackled immediately, but good enough to move the yard markers.
“I told Coach to put me in,” Shannon said before entering the game on third down. “I was going to get the first down.”
“I knew I had to get to the stick,” Allen Cummings said. “I ran as hard as I could and then made a break. I got the ball and just stretched to make sure I got the first. After that I was thinking we were fixing to get our miracle.”
Morales then found J’Shon Foster down the right sideline to the 42-yard line of J-H.
Foster went on to play college ball at Coahoma Community College in Mississippi,
Morales then ran the ball to the 35-yard line with 2:27 left to play. A quick pass to Dontrell Domino moved the ball to the J-H 21 with 1:55 remaining. Morales then hit Foster over the middle, where the 6-foot-5 receiver made a nice catch at the Tiger 8-yard line.
Domino was stuffed at the line of scrimmage for a one-yard loss.
With 53 seconds remaining, Morales rolled right and hit Domino in the front corner of the end zone as the talented running back cradled the ball while on the ground to pull Ferriday to within 14-13 with 53 seconds remaining.
“They brought a lot of pressure, but it was a great call,” Morales said.
Cummings decided to go for the win even though Domino split the uprights on the first conversion.
Morales dropped back a couple of yards and fired a bullet to Cummings, who bent down close to the ground and gobbled up the rifle pass.
“I was watching ‘A.C.’ the whole way,” Morales said.
The crowd had to wait brief seconds as players unpiled to see that Cummings indeed came up with the catch for the win.
“One of their guys grabbed my jersey when I was cutting under our other two slot receivers,” Cummings said. “I trapped it on my thigh and then rolled over with it tucked in. It felt wonderful. This was my first Homecoming win and being a district game made it even better.”
Jonesboro-Hodge was led by all-State cornerback Jouckilous Scott, who returned a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown in 2013 to give J-H a 24-20 win.
Scott is the cousin of former LSU running back Charles Scott, who also played football at Jonesboro-Hodge.
It was one of the unlikeliest wins for the Trojans, who turned the ball over on a fumble caught by a J-H player in the Tiger end zone earlier, and fumbled the ball away in the red zone in the second quarter.
Ferriday actually had the ball inside J-H’s 20-yard line four times with nothing to show for it.
Both teams seemed to have trouble at times with soft dirt in the middle of the field from the 20-yard line to the other 20-yard line.
Balls that hit the dirt just stopped, and players seemed to have difficulty at times running from grass to dirt.
It also seemed to affect the kicking game at times.
“We had a lot of divots on the field we had to cover up,” Cummings said. “We wanted to make sure no one hurt their ankle or have any knee injuries.”
But it did not seem to affect one team more than the other, as both sides struggled.
Ferriday finished the season 6-5, falling to Lake Arthur in the first round of the playoffs.