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|Natchez High visiting Melz Field|
Ferriday High head football coach Freddie Harrison started off Monday's practice with the bull in the ring routine where two players square off in the middle of a circle of players as the sound of pads popping sounds off in the distance.
Harrison knows Ferriday's season-opening game against 6A Natchez High Friday night is going to be a real physical contest.
"We have to come in and set the tempo Monday," Harrison said. "We have to practice Monday like we are going to play Friday."
Ferriday has played one quarter against Madison Parish in the Vidalia Jamboree, while Natchez has played two full games and a jamboree.
"They have eight quarters on us," Harrison said. "They are fine-tuned now. We don't have time to sit back, we have to get there now. Now is the time to work. We have a sense of urgency."
It is the first meeting between Ferriday High and Natchez.
North Natchez and South Natchez consolidated into Natchez High in 1989.
Ferriday played North Natchez in 1982. Trojan coach Jerry Baldwin was a standout athlete at North Natchez.
Ferriday was unbeaten going into the game against a North Natchez team known for its defense.
North Natchez won the game 17-14 in overtime.
Nathaniel Williams rushed for 112 yards against the Rams.
Williams fumbled the ball on the North Natchez 43-yard line and teammate Walter Johnson picked it up and raced 43 yards for a score for the first score of the game.
Johnson, an All-American at Louisiana Tech who played in the NFL, is now an assistant coach at Ferriday.
"We're not going to back down from anyone," Harrison said. "I want our team to come out and fight hard. I want us to play hard until 0:00 is showing on the scorebard."
Natchez High has posted wins over Jefferson County and Wilkinson County.
The Bulldogs are led by one of the top athletes in the state in junior quarterabck Javon Washington, who threw for 1,892 yards last season and rushed for 637 more.
Brian Isaac and Joel Davis are dangerous as return men for NHS.
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