Who do you think should manage Ferriday water?|
Story Archives: Ranking the Faircloth games
- 2013 - 340 articles
- 2012 - 856 articles
- 2011 - 635 articles
- 2010 - 1276 articles
- 2009 - 1591 articles
- 2008 - 1763 articles
|Ranking the Faircloth games|
Trying to name the top 10 games during the career of Dalton "Dee" Faircloth is kind of like trying to decide which was the best New York Yankee team.
Which is kind of fitting considering Faircloth's a big Yankee fan.
But here goes anyway.
At No. 10, is Faircloth's first win at Vidalia in 1969, which happened to be his first-ever game after taking over for Don Alonzo.
A boycott over desegregation that ended just before school started was tougher on Ferriday High than it was Vidalia High, but it did hamper Faircloth hiring an assistant coach, naming David Elkins as his lone assistant just before the season started.
Faircloth gave out Red Ant labels to be put on helmets for big hits, something he brought from Northeast Louisiana University where he served as a volunteer.
Vidalia defeated Winnsboro 7-0 as Johnny Lee Hoffpauir scored on a 4-yard TD run and Charles Clifford added the point-after kick.
Vidalia held Winnsboro to 51 rushing yards.
Faircloth used the Cockeyed "T" offense in which the offense comes out of the huddle one side at a time.
"I don't know what I was thinking then," Faircloth said. "That was something Dixie White ran at Northeast and for some reason I tried it my first year at Vidalia."
Bill Moseley and Tony Braley shared the backfield with Hoffpauir.
Vidalia finished 2-8 that season.
"We won our first two games and I thought there was nothing to it," Faircloth said. "Then we had six players go out with knee injuries and other injuries. By the time we played Ferriday in the final game, I had four regular starters out of the starting 22 out there."
Vidalia was ahead of the Bobby Marks-led Ferriday team 12-8 at halftime before the Bulldogs won 44-18 as Donald Fulford rushed for 222 yards on 23 carries.
At No. 9 is Vidalia's 6-0 win over Anthony McFarland and Winnsboro in 1994.
Josh Hoffpauir scored from one yard out in the opening quarter for the only score of the night.
Vidalia running backs Prentis Jenkins and David Hueing suffered cramps, but Brian Bradford came up big on a drive in the final quarter that ate up six minutes. Vidalia defeated Oakdale in a first-round playoff game in which the Vikings implemented the Notre Dame Box at times, but was beaten by McFarland and Winnsboro 14-6 in a second-round playoff game.
At No. 8 is Vidalia's 18-12 overtime win over Ferriday on Melz Field in 1996.
Vidalia's Gregg Johnson completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Collins with 39 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Ferriday did not score in its first possession of overtime. Faircloth put lineman Eric Whitley in the backfield and handed the ball to Koby Butler twice for the winning score.
"Whitley knocked somebody into the hedges on that final play," Faircloth said.
It was Ferriday's first loss of the season.
Vidalia lost to Northeast, 13-9 in a first round playoff game that season. Springhill eliminated Ferriday in the first round of the playoffs.
At No. 7 is Vidalia's 20-13 win over Ferriday in 2002 to finish unbeaten in the regular season for the first time since 1961.
The game was played before approximately 3,000 fans at Melz Field. It was the kind of game that was well played on both sides and the sportsmanship on the field before and after the game was memorable.
Tony Hawkins Jr. passed 13 yards to Jessie Lyles and then connected with Steven Cooper on the conversion with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter to end the scoring at 20-13.
Ferriday was stopped on fourth-and-one at the Viking 29. The Trojans got the ball back and moved down to the Vidalia 21 before turning the ball over on downs where the Vikings ran out the clock.
Vidalia lost to Riverside in the second round of the playoffs.
My No. 6 game was in 1982 as the Vidalia Vikings just missed the playoffs, but were invited for their only time to play in the River City Bowl in Natchez.
Vidalia defeated Franklin County 16-0.
The Bulldogs boasted of slowing down Keith Woodside, but the future Texas A&M Aggie rushed for 159 yards and was named Most Valuable Player. Mike Bell, who was shaken up from a cheap shot on a conversion run in the contest, was named Best Offensive Player for the Vikings.
Franklin County got as far as the Vidalia 38 in the first half and the Viking 29 in the second half.
"Franklin County had one of the biggest teams I'd ever seen," Faircloth said. "I remember they came out and Coach Hoffpauir said, 'Wow, they are huge.' And I told him that was just their backs and ends. The linemen were still in the dressing room."
At No. 5 is Faircloth's first playoff win. In 1973, the Vikings beat Homer 14-0 in a second round playoff game in Homer after receiving a first-round bye. It was the 10th shutout of the year for the Viking defense.
The Vikings had one of the top defenses in the state as the '73 team broke every defensive school record, allowing only 14 points during the regular season. Nine of its 10 wins were shutouts, with only 3A Ponchatula defeating the Vikings by a 14-0 score.
The 14 points allowed broke the previous record of 21 allowed in 1962.
The Viking defense allowed only 48.8 yards rushing during the regular season and 26.1 through the air.
Bobby Shell intercepted three passes against Homer, while Robbie Savant scored on a 6-yard run and George Cupit busted loose on a 49-yard run. Gary Byargeon added both point-after kicks.
"Lee Bailey, who was only a sophomore then, hit their all-state quarterback on the second or third play and told him, 'I'll be back.' He couldn't see his receivers the rest of the game because he was looking to see where Lee was coming from," Faircloth said.
Vidalia held Homer to 20 yards rushing and 54 through the air.
The shutout win gave Vidalia 37 straight scoreless quarters, which tied the 1969 Springhill team.
Vidalia finished 8-2-2 losing to St. Louis of Lake Charles in the quarterfinals, 13-12.
The quarter shutout streak was broken right away by St. Louis as former LSU running back Thad Minaldi scored on a 46-yard run on the third play from scrimmage.
Cupit was named all-district offense and defense. Gary Waller, Mike Lemen, Marty Probst and Robbie Savant were also named all-district.
At No. 4 is the 1979 contest between Vidalia and Block which decided second place in District 4-AA and which team swould go to the playoffs.
It rained most of the day, and while other games in the area were postponed to Saturday, Vidalia and Block decided to play that night on muddy Viking field.
Block scored on its opening drive as Craig Neal raced 45 yards for the score. But Jeff Harrell and Otis Fair stopped Neal short on the two-point conversion.
Vidalia scored on its first possession as Donald Moseley went the distance on a quarterback keeper from 22 yards out.
Moseley added the point-after kick and the game would then turn defensive, just the way Faircloth liked it.
Vidalia had 107 total yards offense in the contest, while Block finished with 104.
"Joe (Bondurant) had said earlier that his team thought they were the Dallas Cowboys," Faircloth said. "I rammed that quote down my kids' throat all week long. After the game, Marc Archer handed me the game ball. I asked him where he got that football from. He said, 'The Dallas Cowboys.'"
Vidalia lost to a Winnfield team led by Ricky Chatman, Jeffrey Dale and Tommy Latham in the first round of the playoffs.
At No. 3 is the only loss on the list, as Vidalia hosted South Natchez in 1982. The contest was the first between both teams and the crowd for the game packed the stands and lined up three, four and five-deep behind the end zones and alongside the stands.
The Colonels were ranked No. 1 in AA, which was the largest classification in Mississippi. A year earlier, Colonel head coach Joey Porter led South Natchez to the first-ever state championship using a playoff system in Mississippi.
"Ed Reed had called me to set up that game, and then he left for Tuscaloosa," Faircloth said. "I asked him if he had lost his mind when he asked us to play them. I must have been out of my mind when I agreed."
Faircloth said Fred Falkenheiner approached him before the game and asked if he would like for him and a pilot to fly over one of their practices and drop leaflets supposedly from South Natchez saying how bad they were going to beat Vidalia.
"I told them to go ahead," Faircloth. "Only problem was there was big wind that day and the leaflets blew over the levee. One of the guys asked what they said, and I told him, 'I don't guess we will every know.' But I sent somebody over the levee and they brought one back.
"That was quite an atmosphere," Faircloth said of the contest. "You could go to the top of the bleachers and see a steady stream of lights coming from Natchez. Some people had to park on the highway past the courthouse. The officials came out and asked me, 'Coach, what's going on?'"
South Natchez boasted of two highly-touted athletes in Joe Logan and Randolph Brown.
The Colonels scored first as Brown caught a 37-yard pass from Bill Pressgrove.
South Natchez went up 14-0 in the first quarter as Logan scored on a 45-yard run and Pressgrove ran in the conversion.
Vidalia got on the board in the second period as Michael Bell scored on an 8-yard run and passed to Leon Dixon on the conversion.
South Natchez went into the dressing room with a 22-8 lead on a 1-yard run by Pressgrove.
Logan opened the scoring in the third quarter with a 2-yard run and Jamie Kimbrell added the kick.
Keith Woodside, who finished with 204 rushing yards on the night, scored on a 35-yard pass from Bell and Bell ran in the conversion to bring Vidalia to within 29-16.
South Natchez went up 36-17 after Roderick Williams recovered a fumble in the Viking end zone.
Vidalia scored the final TD on an 89-yard run by Woodside. Bell passed to Windell Albert on the conversion to make the final 36-24.
In 1984, Vidalia defeated South Natchez, 19-6.
The Vikings held a team led by Bryan Tate, Ricky Byrd and Tim Brown to 83 rushing yards and 66 passing yards as Joe Ray Hooker had one of three Viking interceptions.
Vidalia scored on TD passes of 30 and 5 yards from Raleston Brown to Tony Hawkins and 7-yard run by Cedric Scott.
At No. 2 is possibly the strangest win for Faircloth.
Vidalia defeated Opelousas Catholic 9-7 in a 1985 second round Class 2A playoff game in Vidalia.
Opelousas Catholic appeared to have the game wrapped up, leading 7-6 and stopping the Vikings on their own 26-yard line with 1:59 remaining in the game.
Opelousas Catholic fell directly down on the ball three times and also had two delay of game penalties that moved them back to their own 1-yard line with 15 seconds remaining.
On fourth down, one of the Opelousas Catholic linemen backed into his own punter, forcing a blocked kick that rolled out of bounds at the visiting Vikings' 6-yard line with a couple of seconds remaining.
"The thing about that is one of our guys had jumped on the ball and almost had it when another one of our guys knocked it loose from him and the ball went out of bounds," Faircloth said. "If we had recovered in bounds, the clock would have probably gone down to zero."
Hooker then kicked an 11-yard field goal that just wobbled over the crossbar to give the Vikings the win.
Vidalia lost to top-rated Homer, 20-6, in the quarterfinals the following week. The Vikings were without 2A Player of the Year Eddie Ray Jackson, who pulled a hamstring in the Opelousas Catholic game.
The No. 1 game on my list is Vidalia's 23-22 win over Redeemer-Seton in 2003 in New Orleans in a Class 2A regional playoff contest.
The Vikings played the game at Jefferson Playground, where Redeemer-Seton has rarely seen the opposition with more points on the scoreboard.
The unbeaten Vikings had easily disposed of Livonia in the first round.
Vidalia's Michael Randall scored a touchdown with 7:39 remaining to pull the Vikings to within 22-21. The touchdown came on a fourth-and-five play in which Randall seemed to be bottled up, but extra effort put him in the end zone.
Faircloth decided against having Charles Anderson attempt the point-after kick and decided to go for the win.
"Their defense was tough," Faircloth said. "I didn't know if we would be able to get back down there again."
A pass from Tony Hawkins to Chris Williams on the conversion attempt led to an interference call against Redeemer-Seton, moving the ball to the 1 1/2 yard line.
Play was stopped because the clock ran on the conversion.
Randall looked at Faircloth and told him he could get it.
"We called for a loaded kickout and I told him he better get it," Faircloth said after the game. "He was actually hit at the line of scrimmage, but carried a few guys into the end zone with him."
Vidalia defeated Mamou 46-12 the next week to advance to another game near New Orleans, this time at West St. John.
The Vikings lost to a Ram team led by future LSU stars Tyson Jackson and Quinn Johnson and Louisiana Tech all-star running back Patrick Johnson.
I truly believe to this day if Vidalia would have ended up in the other bracket they would have beaten Sterlington to reach the Dome and then face West St. John.
And now for some honorable mentions:
The 1984 game against Ferriday at Viking Stadium where approximately 3,000 fans watched a classic.
Both teams were unbeaten going into the contest.
Vidalia led 16-14 with 2:51 remaining in the game. Keith Whitley then ripped off runs of 38 and 43 yards and Dyron Johnson scored from two yards out with 1:45 remaining. Ronnie Reese kicked the conversion for a 21-16 Trojan win. Ferriday lost to John Curtis in the Superdome in the AA championship game. Vidalia defeated Dequincy, but lost to Notre Dame Crowley in the second round.
In 2002, Faircloth faced his nephew, Rayville coach Bo Barton, for the first time. Rayville, ranked No. 7, upset Farmerville and Winnsboro before losing to defending Class A state champion Oak Grove at the buzzer.
"They looked like LSU when they came out on the field," Faircloth said.
Vidalia scored on every possession of the second half in a 60-32 win over the Hornets.
"I told our players they better win because I wanted to be able to go to the family reunion that year," Faircloth said.
In 1993, Vidalia faced a McCall team that was led by quarterback Kelvin Brooks, who signed with Nevada-Las Vegas, and receiver Anthony Lucas, who went on to become a standout for Arkansas and played in the NFL.
Vidalia won the game 8-0 under stormy conditions as Lucas was held to no receptions.
Robbie Washington scored the only TD in the second quarter.
Josh Hoffpauir was injured in the game and Brad Cupit came in at quarterback.
Vidalia opened the second half with a 73-yard drive from its own 1-yard line that ate up the entire third quarter.
"We would get four yards, three yards and four yards on each series," Faircloth said. "We made first downs by inches."
In 1985, Vidalia defeated one of McCall's better teams by 16-12 as Eddie Ray Jackson rushed for 240 yards on 48 carries.
Vidalia fell to Westlake 47-46 in its final regular season game of 1984. Eddie Ray Jackson had six touchdowns, scoring on runs of 31, 3 and 4 yards and catching TD passes from Raleston Brown covering 32, 30 and 25 yards.
Jackson rushed for 266 yards on 37 carries in the game.
Vidalia defeated McCall 22-12 in 2002, having to come from behind for the win. McCall had a first down on Vidalia's 1-yard line with four minutes remaining, trailing by two points. The Viking defense held and McCall fumbled the ensuing punt near midfield. Tony Hawkins sealed the win with a TD run.
"That was the game where we intercepted a pass five yards in bounds, but they called it incomplete," Faircloth said. "They didn't know where the line of scrimmage was so they came back to me and said the ball would be on the 49. They then moved the ball to our 29. I asked them why they were moving it down there and they said, 'He said it was on the 29.' I asked them, 'Who said?' They said 'Levi" (McCall legendary coach Levi Washington). I told them, 'He isn't wearing stripes!' Coye Pace came down running around like a chicken trying to show them on the video where the ball was."
Vidalia 32, Caldwell 30 in a 1970 game that saw the Vikings come from behind three times for the win. Faircloth lost defensive stalwart and back-up quarterback Mike Lane to an injury, Bill Moseley was ejected and quarterback Jerry Craft injured his elbow.
Seldom-used Danny Dunnam came in at quarterback.
With less than a minute remaining, Kerry Craft caught a halfback pass at the 7-yard line from Gene Brashier, who had left the game earlier with cramps. Two plays later, Bobby Eubanks scored from one yard out with 20 seconds remaining to give Vidalia the win.
I'm sure there are dozens more and I am sure I will hear about them over the next several days and several weeks. The fact is, I'm afraid I have to stop somewhere. But the memories certainly will not.
|Frank Morris Murder Series|