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|Ferriday trio tops in parish|
The Ferriday High band finishes the Star Spangled Banner and Trojan head coach Freddie Harrison goes through his pre-game ritual of touching his lips three times, touching his heart three times and pointing up three times, touching his lips twice, touching his heart twice and pointing up twice, and then touching his lips once, touching his heart once and pointing up and saying "Go."
Harrison goes through those motions for his late son, Logan, who died when he was one month old in 2007, when Harrison arrived in Ferriday.
"It reminds me that nothing is promised to you," Harrison said. "We are all privileged to be here and we should take advantage of every moment we can. And being able to coach football is an extra blessing."
Harrison has certainly been a blessing to Ferriday High. For the second time in three years, the 29-year-old Lake Westlake High product led the Trojans to the second round of the playoffs.
Harrison is the Parish Coach of the Year for 2009, while Ferriday senior Bobby Madison and Trojan junior Davonte Scott are the Parish Players of the Year.
Ferriday finished 7-4, falling to Farmerville in the final regular season game of the year to finish second in District 2-2A before defeating Welsh in the first round of the playoffs. The Trojans fell to the Farmers in their second meeting.
Ferriday started off its season with a tough 12-6 loss to Natchez High, a team which advanced to the second round of the Mississippi High School Athletic Association Class 6A playoffs.
"I think that helped us a lot," Harrison said. "A lot of people questioned playing them, but it really helped us in strength of schedule. I think it helped us become better individuals and come together more as a team. We've worked hard on playing quality opponents and putting together a schedule that will make us a better team. You don't get anything out of beating up on somebody. Natchez helped us get to where we needed to be. Playing on the road at Block, Vidalia, Peabody and Jonesboro-Hodge helped us get ready for the playoff environment."
Harrison grades his team at B+ for the season.
"We lost to Natchez by six points, Lake Providence in the last second and Farmerville just 'out-physicaled' us," Harrison said.
The last Trojan team to make it to the quarterfinals was the 2000 squad which lost to Farmerville in the third round.
"We were real young last year and we were still young this year," Harrison said. "We're losing seven quality players, but we have 14 juniors returning. This will be the biggest class I've ever had here. We hope to build off the momentum we had this year and get better. All the guys have been through the system, there is no more having to teach from the beginning. They know what to expect now. And they know all I want is 100 percent effort on every play."
Madison rushed for 1,479 yards on 219 carries with 11 TDs. He also had 68 tackles and two sacks.
"My goal was to win district and go farther in the playoffs," Madison said.
Madison said the season started off with a lot of excitement playing 6A Natchez High. The Bulldogs held off the Trojans in Ferriday by a 12-6 score.
"That was exciting," Madison said. "I think we surprised a lot of people."
Madison has received letters from Arkansas, among several others. He's waiting on his April ACT score to decide what college he will attend.
"I'm leaning toward Arkansas, but depending on my score I may end up going to Northwestern," he said.
Madison is known for his power running, earning most of his yards up the middle.
"I give my all on every play because you never know if it's going to be your last play," he said. "Our linemen did a great job this year."
Madison said the highlight of the season was his 83-yard touchdown run against Vidalia that gave the Trojans a 22-18 lead. Ferriday went on to win the game, 34-24.
"We needed that run at that time and everything clicked on that play," he said.
Madison said he will miss playing football at Ferriday.
"I'm going to miss my teammates and Coach Harrison and all the coaches," he said.
Scott finished with 2,287 total yards of offense, scoring 21 touchdowns. He rushed for 674 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also caught 42 passes for 783 yards, scoring nine through the air. He also had 79 tackles and five interceptions, along with 12 pass break-ups.
Scott was used quite a bit in the Wildcat formation.
"I started running the Wildcat in the spring and I was excited about it," Scott said. "I love getting the chance to touch the ball a lot. I try to score every opportunity I get."
Scott returned 26 punts and kicks for 830 yards and five TDs.
"I just want to win," he said. "I'll play any position. I love running back kicks because it gives me another chance to score."
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