Flashes fired up for Chiefs

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 20, 2000

Pelahatchie is the best team St. Aloysius has faced this year, coach Jim Taylor said.

So why are the Flashes playing the Chiefs for homecoming Friday night?

The date, not the opponent, “was already decided” before the schedule was made out, he answered with a chuckle. “We wouldn’t have chosen them.”

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The Chiefs (5-3, 1-0 in Division 6-1A), led by quarterback Kingi McNair a distant cousin of NFL star Steve McNair are a state championship-caliber team, Taylor said. Their losses were to 2A power Taylorsville, 4A Florence and 1A contender Mize, which have a combined 20-3 record.

“They just have athletes … at every position,” Taylor said. “I can’t find a weakness.”

St. Al still has a slim chance of making the playoffs, but it has to beat Pelahatchie and Puckett and hope Puckett loses twice.

Taylor is counting on his players’ emotions being high as they come off “a heartbreaker” at Richland. The Flashes (3-5, 1-1) lost in overtime to the 2A Rangers, 19-13.

Several of St. Al’s key players are out or at less than 100 percent.

Receiver Chris Bass hasn’t practiced all week after suffering a concussion in the Richland game and running back Blake Warnock is out with a knee injury. Receiver Michael Head will also miss and top player Clay Simmons will be somewhat limited after a concussion two weeks ago and playing sparingly last week.

“We’re way down the depth chart now,” Taylor said.

Pelahatchie is having to deal with some more serious injuries. Five of its linemen were injured in a wreck Wednesday on their way back from church. Michael King was the only starter, but the others got plenty of playing time, Chiefs coach Bill Ward said. Wes Nokes is the only one in critical condition, with head trauma.

“We just thank the Lord, because they could have been killed,” Ward said. “We have to think positive.”

School was out Thursday because of teacher meetings, so the Chiefs didn’t practice, Ward said.

McNair, a 6-foot-2, 208-pounder, has thrown for about 700 yards and seven touchdowns.

“He runs like a deer and throws like a bullet,” Taylor said.

Lonnie Collier leads the Chiefs with about 800 rushing yards and nine touchdowns behind a line that averages around 250 pounds.

“We’ve got a lot of talent, but it’s been hard for us to get any consistency,” Ward said. “St. Al always plays us tough. We always have a hard time over there.”