St. Aloysius hopes for happy homecoming|[10/14/05]

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

The St. Aloysius Flashes keep winning fans among the state’s high school football coaches.

Now they just need to start winning games.

St. Al hosts Nanih Waiya on Friday in a key Region 3-1A game for both teams. For St. Al (1-5, 1-3) to have any shot at a playoff berth, it must get on a roll in a hurry. Nanih Waiya (4-2, 3-1) could use a win to keep pace with the region’s front-runners, Lake and Puckett.

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St. Al has struggled this season, but has looked good at times. The Flashes’ ball control offense has earned praise from opposing coaches, even as turnovers and mental mistakes have kept them from winning games.

&#8221St. Al’s record is not real good, but they have a good team,“ Nanih Waiya coach Adam Dillinger said. &#8221They do a real good job on defense. They tackle well and don’t make mistakes.“

St. Al started the season 0-4, but seems to have turned a corner the last two weeks. The Flashes picked up their first win of the season by beating South Leake two weeks ago, and lost a tough game to Noxapater last Friday.

Against Noxapater, St. Al rallied from a 14-0 halftime deficit to tie the game. A 34-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter gave Noxapater a 21-14 win.

&#8221I think last week we played our best team game, and definitely the best game on defense,“ St. Al coach Jim Taylor said. &#8221The defense made several key stops. I thought we played well enough to win the game, and thought we should have won the game.“

The loss to Noxapater was St. Al’s second to a region foe by a touchdown or less. Thomastown also beat the Flashes, 12-7, on a late touchdown.

The close losses have kept St. Al tantalizingly close to a breakthrough win. And with three winnable games left on the schedule, Taylor said the Flashes could be poised for a late charge.

In addition to Nanih Waiya, St. Al still has to face Puckett, Edinburg, Sebastopol and Pisgah. Puckett is in first place in the region, but Edinburg, Sebastopol and Pisgah have one win among them. Edinburg (0-5) has scored one touchdown this year, in a season-opening 37-6 loss to Carthage.

&#8221Friday night’s game and the last three games are definitely opportunities to win football games. The Puckett game is definitely a challenge,“ Taylor said. &#8221I don’t feel like it’s too late to turn a corner.“