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Story Archives: Low scoring parish affair
|Low scoring parish affair|
This is the 11th in a 30-part series on the top football games played in Concordia Parish.
Even wIth playoff berths secured, Vidalia and Ferriday High went into the last game of the 1967 regular season focused on the task at hand.
After all, winning the Concordia Parish championship was just as important as inning a playoff game, especially after both teams played to a 13-13 a year earlier.
Ferriday had wrapped up the DIstrict 2-AA title and would be hosting Springhill in a first round playoff game, while Vidalia finished 4-1 in District 4A with its only Class A loss coming to district champion WInnsboro, 7-6. Winnsboro would go on to win the Class A state championship.
The packed stands at Melz Field showed the interest in the playoffs would have to wait.
Ferriday head coach Boby Ray Mahaffey and assistant coach Bill Zimmerman saw their team defeat Caldwell 30-6 to finish unbeaten in district.
Don Alonzo's Vidalia team was coming off a 27-7 district win over Oak Grove.
The Vikings returned only one offensive starter, Alford Beach at tackle, and two on defense, Beach and defensive lineman Mike Morgan.
Beach also averaged 37.2 yards punting a game and was 4-of-4 passing the ball from punt formation.
"Coach Alonzo was the finest coach to ever put on a pair of britches," Beach said.
Danny Ford, a junior for Vidalia, who would earn all-district honors at halfback on offense and defense, said Alonzo was disciplined and fair, but was not a "rah-rah type of coach."
"You knew where you stood with him and he treated freshmen and seniors just the same," Ford said. "We would run everything over and over. He believed if we executed the plays the right way, we could beat anybody. The plays were simple, but each play was built off another play. He also preached to us that the team that practiced the hardest during the week, was going to win on Friday night."
As for the Concordia Parish rivalry?
"There was a lot of hype back then," said former Viking Jimmy Hibbs, who would go on to set rushing records at Vidalia High. "People in the community were more involved then. The entire atmosphere changed the week we played Ferriday."
Before one Ferriday game, Bulldog fans hung up a dummy with a jersey displaying Hibb's No. 22 with arrows in it.
"The emotions were extremely high," Hibbs said. "Both quarterback clubs were very strong and the game energized the whole community. It was almost like a hatred, but there was a lot of respect, as well."
"There was always a lot of emotion that week and the coaches always built that game up," Ford said. "We knew a lot of their guys and would seem them out and about. It was always the last game of the year, which added more to it."
Ferriday was led by running back Jim Burroughs, who averaged 141 yards rushing a game.
Running back J.D. Martin totaled 547 rushing yards on 121 carries. He scored 96 points running in touchdowns and kicking extra points.
In a typical, Ferriday-Vidalia slobberknocker, Ferriday beat Vidalia 7-0 at Melz Field as Martin scored on a 51-yard run on fourth-and-one and kicked the extra point.
"J.D. had a bad habit of looking where he was going to run," Beach said. "He would stare at the hole. Pat Greer was playing tackle on the other side. I would yell at him that J.D. was coming to his side. I didn't even hit my man, I just went where J.D. was going. He went wide on that play he scored on. I had the angle on him and I grabbed a wrinkle in his shirt, but couldn't get my finger in there. I ended up running into a hurricane fence they had around the field. J.D. told me later that was the fastest he has ever run when he saw me coming."
"Alford was the next-to-last person to put his hands on me," Martin said. "He had a big smile on his face. I put it into another gear and that smile went to a frown real quick. We were all good friends, but there was a lot of pride riding on that game."
The Bulldogs had 155 yards on offense, while holding Vidalia to 112.
Burroughs was held to 38 yards rushing on the night.
Ferriday fell to Springhill 14-7 in a first-round playoff contest to finish 7-3-1.
Vidalia beat Homer 6-0 in the first round and tied Kinder 0-0 in the quarterfinals, losing the game because Kinder had 11 first downs to five for Vidalia, which served as a tiebreaker at that time.
Vidaila threatened when Mike Morgan returned a punt 51 yards to the Yellow Jacket 6-yard line, but Kinder recovered a fumble to end the scoring threat.
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