St. Al in position to clinch playoff spot
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2008
St. Aloysius is in position to lock up a berth in the Class 1A playoffs but will need to earn at least a split in its final two games, beginning Friday with a road trip to Mount Olive.
The Flashes (7-2, 6-2 in Region 4-1A) celebrated homecoming last Friday night with a 35-14 win over winless West Lincoln at Balzli Field. The win kept B.J. Smithhart’s team in fourth place in the region standings with two to play.
Games set for Oct. 31
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7 p.m. start times
Vicksburg hosts Ridgeland
Warren Central hosts Provine
St. Aloysius at Mount Olive
Porters Chapel at Franklin
Mt. Olive is in second place, followed by Bogue Chitto. Stringer is in fifth but could move up if it was to beat St. Al in the regular season finale on Nov. 6 at Balzli Field.
One area Smithhart would like to shore up is on penalties. The Flashes were flagged 12 times for 120 yards in losses. Four of the penalties came on personal fouls, for either late hits, facemasks or unsportsmanlike conduct.
“We had way too many personal fouls in this game. We can’t handle big penalties like that and expect to beat who we have left,” Smithhart said.
“We’re going to have to clean that up. Some of the other penalties we had, like the motions and offsides, were because we were trying to get our younger players in there. It made for a long second half.
“We got up 28-0 and then decided to play the younger guys and we may have a done it a little too early,” the first-year St. Al coach added.
West Lincoln got its first score on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 28-7. St. Al did answer with senior Richard Thomas scoring his first career touchdown on a 6-yard run with three minutes left to up the lead back to 28.
One good note was that junior Regan Nosser had a solid outing in his second start at quarterback. Nosser moved into the role after former quarterback Chris Lewis was moved to tailback following a season-ending thumb injury to Ryno Martin-Nez.
For the game, Nosser was 4-of-6 passing for 52 yards. Luke Burnett caught two of the balls for 27 yards.
The intermediate passing attack was enough for the Flashes’ ground game to dominate. They rushed for 379 yards as both Lewis (160 yards) and Brendan Beesley (134) went over 100 yards.
“I felt a lot more comfortable in this game. The linemen made good blocks and I had time to throw,” Nosser said.