Big fourth quarter propels Pelahatchie past St. Al

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 23, 2000

Michael Strickland of St. Aloysius runs past Pelahatchie’s Jonathan Coley Friday night. The Flashes fell, 32-7. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

St. Aloysius stayed with high-powered Pelahatchie for almost three quarters, but the Chiefs scored two late touchdowns to win, 32-7, Friday night at Farrell Stadium.

“We gave ’em a battle, but it was hard on our defense,” St. Al coach Jim Taylor said. “They were out there too long.”

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That defense provided the offense with several opportunities, but the Flashes couldn’t take advantage of them, Taylor said.

“We were physically not able to run and we were not very good executing on the passing game.”

That was putting it kindly.

Quarterbacks Ryan Hearn and Dan Muirhead and the St. Al receivers never jelled. They finished the game a combined 1-for-13 with three interceptions. The lone completion was a 17-yarder at the end of the half.

The Flashes (3-6, 1-2 Division 6-1A) finished with 48 yards on 23 carries.

Still, they were within a play of taking the lead until late in the third quarter.

After two quick Pelahatchie scores, Michael Engle blocked a punt and Walker Hengst recovered it in the end zone early in the second quarter. Michael Strickland’s PAT made it 13-7.

“I saw the punter bobble the ball, so I just got in there,” said Engle, who also made a high-flying interception. “We played better than the score looks. The line did all they could. We were all just exhausted.”

Lonnie Collier led the Chiefs (6-3, 2-0) with 131 yards on 24 carries and Buck McNair added 120 yards on 11 carries, including a 28-yard touchdown in the fourth. The Chiefs finished with 299 yards on 48 carries and Kingi McNair threw for 85 yards on 5-of-14 passing.

Kevin Moore scored on a 9-yard run with 5:22 left in the first and McNair hit LaGermany Johnson from 30 yards out three minutes later, making it 13-0.

Michael Mazzanti recovered a fumble at the Chiefs’ 29 late in the second quarter, but the Flashes failed to come away with any points.

After Clay Simmons sacked McNair, St. Al got the ball back on the Pelahatchie 30 with 25 seconds to go.

Strickland caught a short pass and ran to the 9, but was stopped as the half ended.

Simmons then caused a fumble early in the third, but two plays later, the Flashes gave it back on Moore’s interception.

With 2:22 left in the third, Collier bounced off tacklers on fourth down for a 14-yard score to make it 20-7. The Chiefs’ last interception set up John Stokes’ 16-yard score to finish off the scoring.

“Coach Taylor always figures out how to hit you where it hurts,” Pelahatchie coach Bill Ward said. “They were stopping the outside run, so we had to adjust and go right at them.”