Flashes travel to face powerful Mize squad

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 8, 2004

[10/8/04]The task at hand for St. Aloysius is quite formidable. Take a 1-5 team on the road, travel to Mize the top-ranked team in Class 1A and somehow come away with a win against the undefeated Bulldogs.

Last year’s 3-3 Flashes faced a less-talented Mize team at home and still lost 41-6. So excuse St. Al coach Jim Taylor if he’s not pumped up about tonight’s Region 4-1A game.

“From watching them on film, in every skill position they’ve got a good player,” Taylor said. “From quarterback to running backs to wide receivers to tight ends to defense, they’re pretty well loaded up. And I don’t have to tell you they play aggressive football offensively and defensively.

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“That definitely is not what the doctor ordered for us at this point.”

Mize (6-0, 4-0) features a potent inside-outside running game that keeps defenses off-balance. Tailbacks Trell Hagans, a French Camp transfer, and Jasper Ducksworth have combined for 1,055 yards on 91 carries (11.6 yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns. If defenses play the outside, fullbacks Perry Jones and Travis Autry have pounded the middle for 389 yards on 50 carries (7.8 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns.

Add in quarterback Tony Agee and Mize has an offense that gives opponents nightmares. Agee has passed for 308 yards and seven touchdowns. He also can run out of the pocket, with 286 yards on 27 carries.

“We just take what the defense gives us,” said Mize coach Kenny Robinson, who ranks this year’s team as talented as his 2000 team that won the Class 1A state championship.

The Flashes (1-5, 1-3) have stumbled the last two weeks in games Taylor had deemed winnable. Bogue Chitto and Salem combined to beat the Flashes 85-27 in those two games.

On Friday, Salem (4-2) took advantage of a calf injury to St. Al running back Rob Jones for a 35-8 win. Bray Jones scored the Flashes’ lone touchdown in Rob Jones’ absence.

“Our trouble is really just putting a game together,” Taylor said. “We have so many breakdowns at so many different spots. It’s not the same thing all the time. We just can’t get everybody on the same page.”

Rob Jones will be back for tonight’s game, but Taylor is unsure about who will play center.

Starting center Joseph Sudderth was injured in practice last week and missed the Salem game. His replacement Edward Segrest suffered an ankle sprain and couldn’t go.

Steven Rottman shifted over from tackle to center last week, but he’s been out of school most of this week with a stomach virus.

“That’s another thing that’s been hindering us. We’ve still got a lot of injuries,” said Taylor, adding that he thinks Segrest will be ready to play. “I might have to play center.”

But Taylor’s not looking past this week’s game just yet.

“I’ve never thrown the towel in, saying we can’t beat somebody,” Taylor said. “It’s not decided until you go out there and play. We might get beat by 50, and we might surprise them some, I don’t know. I look at it with a positive attitude.

“I’m not willing to submit to defeat.”