Flashes, Cobras just want to hang onto the ball

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2000

St. Aloysius (0-1) and Wesson had the same problem in their opening losses on Friday turnovers.

The Flashes and Greenville St. Joseph combined for 16 turnovers in their game, while Wesson (0-1) fumbled three times inside the 20-yard line in a 6-3 loss to Class 4A Crystal Springs.

Both will hope to correct, or forget, last week’s games.

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“We had so many mental mistakes,” said Wesson coach Ronald Greer, who led his team to a 33-7 win over the Flashes a season ago. “We’d get things going, then get an offsides penalty. We are not a very good first-and-15 team.”

Simply put, the Cobras love to run the ball. Sophomore fullback Russell Robinson leads an team that returns just three seniors. Offensive lineman Chris Thornton is the team’s top returning senior, but he he just 5-foot-4, 180-pounds.

“They have a lot of mobile players,” St. Al coach Jim Taylor said. “If we don’t play better than we did the other night, we could be in serious, serious trouble.”

Greenville exploited the Flashes’ young interior defense on the ground last week, but Taylor said he will not make any changes.

“We have to get better with the people we have,” Taylor said. “It’s just a matter of improving. Greenville figured out that there was a soft spot and they ran there a lot.”

The Flashes’ air attack has Greer concerned.

In the Greenville loss, Dan Muirhead tossed a pair of touchdowns and had 121 yards. Clay Simmons hauled in a 65-yarder and Vincent Banchetti caught a 22-yard scoring pass.

“I was very impressed with the quarterback and that running back out of the backfield,” Greer said, referring to Muirhead and Banchetti. “That wideout (Simmons) is a good-looking young’un.”

Kickoff for the second Flashes road game in a row is set for 7:30 p.m.

St. Al will play again next week on the road, then return home for a Sept. 15 game against Riverside in newly refurbished Farrell Stadium/Balzli Field.

“It’s not that bad,” Taylor said. “I said Friday night that is was just a miserable, miserable night. We got on that hot bus at 4:30 and drove to Greenville, then went into the dressing room and it was 110 degrees.

“It was hot all night. Hopefully, it will be better this week.”