Bobcats’ run game pounds St. Aloysius

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

[9/27/03]On St. Aloysius’ first two plays from scrimmage Friday night, tailback Rob Jones ran for gains of 9 and 20 yards.

That was just about it for the Flashes’ highlight reel.

Led by Rico Lewis’ 112-yard, three-touchdown performance, Bogue Chitto piled up 401 rushing yards and buried St. Al 40-14.

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Three different Bogue Chitto backs surpassed the 100-yard mark. Antonio Barnes added 135 yards and a touchdown for the Bobcats, and quarterback Michael Blackwell ran for 108 yards and a touchdown on only eight carries.

David Weiland caught three passes for 120 yards and a touchdown for St. Al, which lost its fourth straight. Drew Mazzanti was 9-for-15 passing for 166 yards and a TD, and Jones finished with 43 yards rushing and a score.

“It’s the same thing that’s been happening to us all year missed tackles. You can’t miss that many tackles, me included. Our whole team just missed way too many tackles,” said St. Al defensive back Anthony Rector. “We probably need a whole other week just practicing that.”

The bigger, quicker Bobcats seized control of the game early. After stalling St. Al’s initial drive at the 42-yard line, Bogue Chitto drove 80 yards in 10 plays to take a 6-0 lead. Lewis capped the march with a 13-yard TD run, and the Bobcats converted three third downs on the drive.

Bogue Chitto had two more long scoring drives before halftime. Todd Davis hit Michael Blackwell for a 9-yard TD pass on fourth-and-goal early in the second quarter, and Lewis scored from 4 yards out to make it 20-0 with 2:08 to play in the first half.

“We knew we were bigger than they were up front, and we wanted to take advantage of our offensive line,” Bogue Chitto coach Gareth Sartin said. “The offensive line did a good job coming off the ball, and the backs ran hard.”

After Lewis’ second touchdown, St. Al squandered several chances to get back in the game. Anthony Rector returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards for an apparent touchdown, but it was negated by an illegal block.

Undaunted, the Flashes used a roughing the passer penalty and a 13-yard pass from Mazzanti to Cowan Conway to advance to the Bogue Chitto 1 with just under a minute to play. After two runs went for no gain, Mazzanti fumbled the snap on third-and-goal. Bogue Chitto’s Lange Porter recovered and returned the ball to the 26-yard line, ending the threat.

“That was huge. We went in 20-0, it could have been 20-7 and they would have had the momentum going in. Instead, we were able to take back the momentum and it’s still 20-0,” Sartin said.

Blackwell ran for a 48-yard touchdown on the third play of the second half, and Lewis scored on a 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter to make it 34-0 before the Flashes were able to rally and get on the scoreboard.

A 46-yard completion from Mazzanti to Weiland set up Jones’ 1-yard TD run, but Bogue Chitto answered with a 4-yard TD run by Barnes for a 40-7 lead. Rector returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the Bogue Chitto 21 to set up Mazzanti’s TD toss to Weiland two plays later, but by then the game was well out of control.

“We just don’t have enough personnel,” St. Al coach Jim Taylor said, listing a number of players who were exhausted late in the game from playing both ways. “In spurts we moved the ball. We ran the ball well at times, threw the ball well at times, and then we’d bust a play.

“We weren’t consistent at all, and talent-wise it’s just tough to play defense against folks that are so much bigger and faster than you are.”