St. Al falls to Puckett in 1st round

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2002

[11/16/02]It was a fairy tell season for St. Aloysius, but in this story, it was the Wolf that overcame in the end.

Puckett used two third-quarter touchdowns to beat the Flashes 14-0 and advance to the second round of the Class 1A state tournament to face Nanih Wayia.

The Flashes’ Walker Hengst was a defensive juggernaut, collecting a dozen tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter to give St. Al one more shot at scoring from their own 25 yard line.

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The Flashes could only manage to move it three yards before punting with just over a minute remaining in the game.

Coming up short appeared to be the Flashes’ curse throughout the game, but it may have never been more costly than on their second possession of the third quarter.

Down 7-0 after Zack Parker scored on a seven-yard run on the Wolves’ first possession of the second half, and looking at fourth-and-one form their own 37-yard line, the Flashes decided to take a chance.

The mistake cost them.

The Flashes came up an inch short and the Wolves made them pay, scoring five plays later to extend their lead to 14-0 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The difference in the second half running game told the story for both teams.

“We just made some mental adjustments,” Wolves head coach Lennis Stevens said. “We realized how physical they’d be, and we had to step it up a couple notches.”

The Flashes, after collecting 10 first downs and rushing for 79 yards on the strength of Chad Cox’s 66 yards in the first half, were corralled for a negative two yards in the second half and failed to earn a first down.

The Wolves in comparison were led by Parker’s 114 rushing yards, he only managed 19 yards in the first half, while collecting a time consuming 14 first downs.

“They came out in the second half and did what they should have done all along,” Taylor said. “They ran right at us with their outstanding running backs.”

The Flashes had their chances as early as their first possession of the game, but Mario Robinson intercepted a Cox pass at the Wolves’ 37 yard line.

The second missed opportunity was even more costly. Five minutes into the second quarter the Wolves’ Terrell Jackson intercepted a pass intended for Michael Engle in the endzone.

“We just didn’t take advantage of the chances we had in the first half,” Taylor said. “We had the opportunities to score from the shotgun and then kept missing first downs by two feet, a foot.

“But I told the kids that what we do now is enjoy the success we had over the year, because you can’t take that away from us.”