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|Natchez holds off Ferriday|
That big gush of air Friday night coming from Dee Faircloth Viking Stadium was the release of a lot of frustration.
Vidalia High has dominated Block in football, winning every game but one since 1985.
But it was Block doing the dominating in the season-opener for both teams Friday night as the Bears blanked the Vikings 35-0.
"We struggled early," said Block coach Benny Vault. "We weren't making the right calls on the offensive line. And then penalties hurt us. It's hard to convert a third-and-25 or third and 30. But I'm proud of our kids. They stayed in there and played hard."
After stalling on its first drives of the game because of penalties, the Bears got their offense in gear late in the second quarter, scoring four touchdowns over the final 3:31 of the second quarter.
Frustrated may be the best way to describe Vidalia head man Dee Faircoth, after his team had five turnovers, including problems with the center-quarterback exchange and two fumbles on kickoff returns.
"There was not too much positive I can find out of this game," Faircloth said. "We're going to work on our kicking game all week and find some way to run the ball forward."
The Vikings also had just 18 yards of total offense in the first half.
Block's first score came after a Viking turnover as Chris Collins scored on a 21-yard touchdown run.
Vidalia fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff which led to a then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Block recovered at the 41 which led to a 7-yard touchdown pass from Curdarius Johnson to Collins.
Block's third score of the period came as Johnson hit Ladarrius Collins down the sideline for a 52-yard pass play that led to an 11-yard scoring run by Preston Bowman with 40 seconds remaining.
Another Viking special team turnover led to the final score of the first half as Johnson hit Chris Collins on a pass to the 2-yard line where Johnson ran it in for a 28-0 halftime advantage. Block added its final touchdown early in the third quarter on a 16-yard Bowman run.
Bowman led the Bears with 84 yards rushing and two touchdowns while Collins had 55 yards on the ground.
Gary Stewart caught three passes for 99 yards to lead the Vikings.
"All we can do is get better," Faircloth said. "That was some of the worst execution I have ever seen. We'll regroup. We still have nine games to go."
Class 2A Ferriday High School battled Class 6A Natchez High to the wire Friday night as the Trojans fell to the Bulldogs 12-6 at Melz Field.
"If we would have been a little more in shape we might could have pulled it out," said Ferriday coach Freddie Harrison. "But the kids played hard and well enough to win the football game. You couldn't ask for a better opener. The fans got their $5 worth."
Ferriday threatened on its first possession after DeVonante Scott returned the opening kickoff 45 yards to the Bulldog 45.
"You always want to set the tone right off whether you are kicking off or receiving," Harrison said. "I think that let them know we were going to be here throughout the whole game."
Two runs by Bobby Madison and a short pass from Rodney Lawson to Scott moved the ball to the 22.
Following a penalty that moved the bal to the Ferriday 12, Scott was under heavy pressure, but avoided the sack with a flip shuffle pass to Alfred Brown who carried the ball to the 10-yard line.
Following a penalty against Ferriday, Scott, lined up in the wildcat, was intercepted by Raymond Williams to end the drive that ate up 5:16 of the opening quarter.
Natchez High moved into Ferriday territory, and aided by a roughing the passer penalty moved down to the Ferriday 16.
The Trojans forced a fourth-and-12 at the Ferriday 18 and Javon Washington was stopped two yards short of the first down on a scramble.
The Bulldogs got the ball back and moved down the field to the Ferriday 7-yard line.
On the first play of the second quarter, Nieco Amado intercepted Washington at the 2-yard line.
Scott broke loose on a 22-yard run, but offsetting penalties — holding on Ferriday and a horse collar tackle on Natchez, negated the run.
Ferriday was forced to punt after the Trojan defense held the Bulldogs near midfield.
But an offsides penalty on the Trojans gave the Bulldogs first down on the Ferriday 41.
But Amado came up with his second interception of the night to give the Trojans the bal at their own 28.
"Those were two big plays by Nieco and big plays can be the difference in any game," Harrison said. "It's just a matter of who makes the most."
Two runs by Madison, a 9-yard pickup by Scott and 10-yard scamper by Lawson moved the ball to the Natchez 34-yard line.
Lawson then found Gary Mayes for a 15-yard gain to the 19 with 51 seconds remaining in the first half.
On the next play, Lawson threw the ball up in the air and Scott went up over Natchez's Jeremy Davis at the 10-yard line, came down with the ball and jogged into the end zone for the first score of the game.
The conversion failed to give Ferriday at 6-0 halftime advantage.
Natchez was able to get on the board in the second half as with 4:30 remaining, Washington found Santorius Pollard on a 22-yard scoring play.
The winning score came early in the fourth quarter as running back Joel Davis plowed in from two yards out.
"We've got room for improvement," Harrison said. "We've made some strides, but still have a long way to go."
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