It was the Jazz Ferguson show in St. Francisville on Friday night, where the West Feliciana senior running back carried his team to a 28-14 victory against East Feliciana.
Ferguson exploded in the second half and finished with 210 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, leading the way as the Saints pulled away after trailing by one point at halftime.
Early on, the crosstown rivals looked very similar. With Ferguson towering over his teammates in the West Feliciana backfield, the Saints were more than prepared to go run-for-run with East Feliciana and junior running back Christopher Chaney.
After pounding out four first downs via Chaney and junior quarterback Carven Young, Tigers coach Cedric Anderson decided to take to the air.
On the Saints’ 25-yard line, Young launched a 25-yard strike to senior receiver Timothy Thompson, who made the leaping grab over a defender for the first score.
Chaney, who finished with 45 yards, waltzed into the end zone for a two-point conversion, giving East Feliciana (0-1) an 8-0 lead.
West Feliciana (1-0) didn’t stay down for long, though.
Saints coach Rob Odom put the game in the hands of Ferguson, who totaled 24 yards on the Saints’ first drive, collecting three first downs en route to a 3-yard score. He finished the first half with 72 yards, one touchdown and one fumble.
He wasn’t even remotely finished.
With 7:07 remaining in the third quarter, Ferguson delivered, bursting through a hole in the offensive line and sprinting 77 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.
“He’s Jazz. He’s an athlete who has size and speed,” Odom said. “If you watch him from the sidelines, when he wasn’t running, he was blocking and doing some good things for us. I don’t know if he ever came off the field. I’m proud of him from what I saw tonight.”
East Feliciana wasn’t ready to back down.
On the ensuing kickoff, Thompson provided a jolt for the depleted Tigers, bolting 85 yards for a game-tying touchdown.
It was exactly what Anderson’s club needed.
“Special teams was big for us,” Anderson said. “We just didn’t score enough off of special teams. We’ll take this and learn from it going into next week.”
In the fourth quarter, the Saints responded after a Ferguson 39-yard sprint that put his squad in the red zone. Senior running back Desmond Wilson then gave his team the lead with a 6-yard touchdown run.
Later in the quarter, Saints senior quarterback Ryan Reed put the game away with a 5-yard rushing touchdown to put West Feliciana up 28-14.