Flashes falter in 20-13 loss|[10/15/05]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 15, 2005

The St. Aloysius Flashes seem to be doing a hundred different things right in every game they play this season.

It’s the one or two things they do wrong that keeps coming back to haunt them.

St. Al’s Thomas Escousse missed a game-tying extra point in the third quarter, the Flashes failed to convert a pair of fourth downs in the fourth quarter, and Chris Baer threw an interception on a last-gasp drive in the final minute as Nanih Waiya scraped out a 20-13 victory Friday night.

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The loss dropped St. Al to 1-6 (1-4 Region 3-1A), but it was the Flashes’ third defeat by a touchdown or less.

&#8221That’s what the coaches tell us every week, is if we cut out the little mistakes, we’re golden,“ said St. Al running back Alex Halinski, who ran for 53 yards. &#8221The only thing that can straighten that out is discipline.“

Nanih Waiya’s Samuel Gales ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns, including a 7-yard scamper with 1:40 to play in the game. That score gave the Warriors a 20-13 lead, but also gave St. Al one last chance.

On St. Al’s previous possession, Chip Donald missed a long pass along the sideline on a fourth-and-23 from the 6-yard line. The Flashes had no timeouts left and, with 2:21 to play, a quick Nanih Waiya touchdown was the only thing that would have given them the ball back with enough time to drive for a tying score.

&#8221As close as we were, we couldn’t have picked up a first down. And it would have been short gains, so they would have set the ball real quick. I don’t know if we would have been able to kill it or not,“ said Nanih Waiya coach Adam Dillinger. &#8221We didn’t want to take a chance.“

After Nanih Waiya’s two-point conversion attempt failed – they had been backed up to the 18-yard line by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty – St. Al got the ball back at its own 26.

It didn’t move much further.

Baer completed one first-down pass to Noah Slater, then threw two straight incompletions. On third-and-10 from the St. Al 38, Baer threw over the middle and was intercepted by Nanih Waiya’s Hailey Moody to seal it.

The interception was the last of many St. Al miscues on the night.

On the game’s opening drive, St. Al held the ball for nearly six minutes and drove to the Nanih Waiya 8-yard line before a holding penalty, two incompletions and a sack left them with no points.

Chip Donald ran 46 yards for a touchdown on an end-around on St. Al’s next possession, but Nanih Waiya scored the next two times it got the ball to take a 14-7 lead.

Quarterback Cecil Hickman scored on a 4-yard run and Gales broke a 59-yard TD run to give the Warriors the lead.

St. Al had two second-quarter drives end on sacks, including one on a fourth down at the Nanih Waiya 30. The Flashes finally got back on track in the third quarter, marching 63 yards in nine plays to get within a point on Bray Jones’ 7-yard TD run with 5:04 to play.

The snap on the extra point was low, however, and holder Daniel Halinski struggled to get the ball in place for Escousse. With the timing of the kick messed up, Escousse pushed it wide to leave the game at 14-13.

St. Al’s defense held Nanih Waiya in check throughout the second half, forcing two turnovers and keeping the Warriors to 100 total yards. The offense managed only two first downs after Jones’ touchdown, however, and was stopped on two fourth down plays in the fourth quarter.