Lewis propels Flashes with his feet|[09/17/07]

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 17, 2007

Chris Lewis has worked hard to become a better passer. He’s gone to camps, thrown dozens of balls in the offseason, almost had a 1,000-yard passing season in 2006 and even attended the prestigious Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana.

So far this season, however, Lewis’ biggest weapon hasn’t been his arm. It’s been his feet.

The St. Aloysius junior ran for 112 yards and three touchdowns in a 29-15 win over Salem on Friday. It was the first 100-yard rushing effort in three games for the Flashes, and the second time Lewis has led them in rushing yardage. He’s second on the team with 157 yards and has scored five of St. Al’s six touchdowns.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Factor in a two-point conversion run against Salem, and Lewis has accounted for 32 of St. Al’s 42 points, all without throwing a touchdown pass.

“He’s got great speed. Probably as good or better than anybody on the team, and we’re going to keep trying to add things for him to do running the ball,” St. Al coach Jim Taylor said. “And he’s a bigger back than anybody we’ve got, so why wouldn’t we use him is the question.”

Lewis needed to have a strong game running the football against Salem because, in his own words, he “stunk throwing it.” Lewis threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown, and completed just 3 of 7 passes for 19 yards. He had been 13-of-23 for 147 yards entering the game.

Using a combination of strength and speed, however, Lewis keyed a ground game that gained 366 yards and had four different players finish with at least 65 yards. Lewis got most of his yardage on designed runs to the outside, where he simply got to the corner faster than Salem’s defenders.

On one run in the second quarter, though, Lewis and a Salem defensive back got there at the same time. Lewis bowled him over to get a couple extra yards and pick up a first down.

After the game, Lewis said he was OK with running the ball more. He’s already gained more yards on the ground than he had all of last season, and has almost as many rushing touchdowns (five) as he had passing TDs in 2006 (eight).

“I love to run,” Lewis said after Friday’s game. “Tonight, running was what we did and what was open.”