St. Aloysius tries again at elusive win

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

[9/17/04]The first three weeks of the season have not been pleasant for St. Aloysius.

The Flashes have been blown out in all three games, scored only five touchdowns, and made a slew of physical and mental mistakes on both sides of the football. It’s all left St. Al fans wondering just how long it is before basketball season.

All is not lost, though. Beginning with tonight’s game against Stringer (1-1), St. Al has three straight games against teams expected to finish near the bottom of the pack in Region 7-1A. The easier stretch has the Flashes (0-3) believing they can get their act together and get back in the hunt for one of the region’s four playoff berths.

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“You kind of realize we are in a weaker division, and that gives you hope for the season,” St. Al offensive lineman Steven Rottman said. “If we go 6-5 this season, we probably will make the playoffs.”

Rottman is part of a line that has taken most of the heat for the Flashes’ sluggish start.

Senior running back Rob Jones has rushed for nearly 300 yards and four touchdowns, but has done a lot of the work on his own. Blocking breakdowns have allowed defenders into the backfield time after time. St. Al is averaging about 3 yards per carry this season.

Jones lashed out at his line last week, but Rottman said there were no hard feelings among teammates.

“It’s not hard to keep it together, because you realize what he’s saying is true,” Rottman said. “Right now it’s got to start with the line. We’re not getting our job done at all. We know what to do, but it’s almost like we’re thinking too much and trying to force things. We’re not clicking. Until we start doing our job, there’s not much the backs and quarterbacks can do.”

Once the line solves its problems, St. Al could be in good shape.

It plays Bogue Chitto, Salem and Enterprise over the next month, with a road game against perennial power Mize mixed in. St. Al coach Jim Taylor believes the potential for a winning streak is there, and that the Flashes just need a spark to get the ball rolling.

“Above all else, we need a win. We need a little boost,” Taylor said. “If we play well, we can win two games in a row. Both of those (Stringer and Bogue Chitto) are within our grasp, and those would basically turn things around for us.”

First, the Flashes must get by Stringer. Taylor described the Red Devils as a talented, but determined team. Stringer won last year’s meeting 28-27.

“They are not a tremendously skilled team, but they have raw talent and they play real hard. That’s the two things they’ve got going for them,” Taylor said. “I expect good competition, but it’s really a game we should be in.”