St. Al finds positives in loss to Cathedral

Published 12:01 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2010

St. Aloysius’ playoff hopes took a hit with last Friday’s 13-8 loss to Region 4-1A leader Cathedral, but it wasn’t the only result that hurt the Flashes.

Sebastopol upset Dexter 18-16 and Mount Olive upended Bogue Chitto 14-0 to tighten up the top half of the eight-team region and also make St. Al’s push for a playoff bid much tougher.

Cathedral’s win over the Flashes, coupled with Bogue Chitto’s loss, gave the Green Wave sole possession of first place at 4-0. Bogue Chitto and Mount Olive are now tied for second at 3-1, but the Pirates have the tiebreaker because of last week’s win. Dexter is alone in fourth at 3-2, followed by Sebastopol at 2-2. St. Al is alone in sixth at 1-3.

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Because the Flashes have already lost to Dexter and Bogue Chitto, they’ll have to win out to claim one of the four playoff spots. That’s a tough chore with a road game this week at Mount Olive and another at Sebastopol in the regular-season finale on Nov. 5.

Flashes coach B.J. Smithhart, however, remains optimistic about his team’s chances. He felt the Flashes played one of their best games of the season against Cathedral.

“We will line up and play with anybody,” Smithhart said. “I think we’ll be all right. Our guys gave it all they had.”

St. Al’s defense was strong again, allowing Cathedral to score on just two long pass plays of 93 and 79 yards. Cathedral quarterback Caleb Upton had only three other completions in 13 total attempts. The two TDs to Carl Hammitte accounted for 172 of Upton’s 214 passing yards.

But what stuck out to Cathedral coach Ron Rushing was the Green Wave’s inability to establish a running game against the Flashes.

Cathedral managed only 72 yards on the ground, while St. Al gained 233. Rushing credited St. Al senior tackle Matt Wooten with leading the Flashes’ dominance along the line of scrimmage.

“We could not run the ball when they had five men in the box,” Rushing said. “They whipped our tails. He (Wooten) dominated us up front.”

Smithhart saw the same thing.

“Wooten wouldn’t let them get out,” Smithhart said of his senior tackle.

Statistically, at least, the Flashes were good.

Quarterback Ford Biedenharn shredded the Green Wave defense on zone reads for a game-best 118 yards rushing. Carlton Campbell added 91 yards and Mac Jones had 27 and a touchdown.

Biedenharn and freshman backup QB Carlisle Koestler combined to complete 6 of 11 passes for another 38 yards.