St. Al looks for RB, win vs. Puckett

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 6, 2000

The search is on at St. Aloysius for a running back.

With Michael Strickland in pads, but only for non-contact drills and Walker Hengst nursing an injured ankle, the Flashes (3-3, 1-0 Division 7-1A) will need someone to step in and move the football. And they better learn quickly.

St. Al will face its most grueling test of the season when undefeated division rival Puckett (5-0, 1-0 division) comes to town Friday night.

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When asked half-jokingly if he wanted to borrow some of Puckett’s talented running backs, St. Aloysius coach Jim Taylor quickly answered, “we’ll whoop em with what we got.”

The Flashes problems with the Wolves could stem farther than just not moving the ball. How to stop Puckett’s power running game is what concerns Taylor.

“They are a power football team and basically, they will win or lose coming straight at you,” said Taylor, whose team beat Puckett 20-6 last season. “They’ll mix in a reverse now and again and they will not pass unless they have to.”

Over the past few years, the Flashes have had to battle the “three Ps” (Puckett, Pisgah and Pelahatchie) en route to a division title. Puckett had been the weakest of the three for the past few years, but a senior-laden team has quickly changed that this season.

“They are very sound and wellcoached,” Taylor said. “The bottom line is, really, if we don’t stop them in the trenches, we are going to be in a lot of trouble.

“The point has been made to our players and I don’t have any questions about them playing hard. They just have to reach down and get something else when you get to these tough games.”

Taylor’s charges are coming off a 37-9 throttling of Madison-St. Joseph, but Taylor warned that the four touchdown win should not be used a barometer in getting ready for Puckett.

As Taylor sees it, the Wolves are simply hard to beat.

“They are undefeated and no one really has come close to them,” Taylor said. “They have some very good running backs … and they don’t hurt themselves a whole lot.”