Flashes fizzle in finale, fall 27-7

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 30, 2000

Michael Strickland of St. Al gets sandwiched by Pisgah’s Phillip Archie, right, and Chance Massey. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

Senior night at St. Aloysius started with a bang, but fizzled in the second half.

Pisgah (5-4, 2-2 Division 6-1A) scored 27 unanswered points to down the Flashes, 27-7.

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St. Al finished the season 3-7.

“We played hard. It’s been like this all year,” Flashes coach Jim Taylor said. “We have a great group of guys. It couldn’t have been more pleasant.”

Neither could the start for the Flashes.

After starting on the Dragons’ 49-yard line, the Flashes marched down the field in five plays and Michael Strickland capped the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead.

Strickland, who had 63 yards on 15 carries, gained 35 yards on the drive.

“We didn’t come out ready to play and I knew that was going to happen,” Dragons coach Richard Hall said. “This is the first year in a while we are not making the playoffs, and I knew we would be flat.”

Pisgah failed to score in the first quarter, but converted a fake punt late in the quarter on a fourth-and-10. After gaining the first down, the Dragons scored seven plays later on a Phillip Archie 13-yard run.

Archie had 83 yards on 10 carries to lead a ground attack that rolled up 306 yards, 218 of those came in the second half.

Pisgah took the lead for good in the third quarter on a Kenneth Jones 2-yard quarterback sneak. The score capped a 12-play, 82-yard drive.

Following a St. Al fumble, one of three on the night, Jones connected with Archie on a 69-yard scoring pass with 1:36 left in the third quarter for a 20-7 lead.

St. Al, on its next offensive possession, fumbled again, but Pisgah’s ensuing drive ended with a Michael Head interception deep in Flashes’ territory.

The Flashes threatened one last time after the interception. Clay Simmons, who led St. Al with 89 yards, broke through the middle on a 37-yard run with five minutes left in the game to bring the Flashes to the Dragons’ 11.

The drive stalled on the 7 and Pisgah bulldozed through the St. Al defense for a seven-play, 93-yard drive, which was capped by a 40-yard scoring run by Alphonso Lee, who led all rushers with 98 yards on nine carries.

Head, a freshman, ran seven consecutive times on the final Flashes’ drive and gained 35 yards to end the game.