Eagles pummel Flashes

Published 11:46 pm Saturday, October 8, 2011

By Steve Wilson


PASCAGOULA — Carlton Campbell’s punt attempt in the end zone ricocheted off Elliott Bexley’s helmet and back into Campbell’s hands. The stunned St. Aloysius punter and running back scampered for 34 yards, the team’s second-longest play from scrimmage.

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It was that kind of night for the Flashes on Saturday against Resurrection, which demolished the Flashes 39-7 in a disappointing dismemberment.

Everything that could’ve gone wrong, did for St. Al (1-7, 1-5 Region 4-1A). Four mishandled snaps by three different quarterbacks. Two interceptions. Four sacks. A total inability to stop Resurrection from doing what it wanted to do, through the air or on the ground.

St. Al is in the midst of a four-game losing streak and has been outscored 132-10 in that span. Any playoff hopes it once harbored have been replaced by a desire to merely win another game before the clock runs out on the season.

The Flashes host Stringer on Friday night, then have a bye week before finishing the schedule at home against first-place Bogue Chitto and on the road at Mount Olive.

“We didn’t get off the bus,” St. Al coach B.J. Smithhart said. “We’ve got to fix a lot of problems. We’ve got to get a lot better.”

In the early going Saturday, it looked like St. Al came ready to fight.

On the third play from scrimmage, Carlisle Koestler hit Zane Russell on a slant that Russell turned into a 56-yard catch and run. But from there, the Flashes went backward and Blake Hudson pushed a field goal attempt wide left.

It never seemed to get better after that.

After St. Al’s defense forced a three-and-out, Smithhart sent Forest Logue in at quarterback for a change of pace. But Logue mishandled the shotgun snap and Resurrection (2-4, 1-4) recovered at the St. Al 33-yard line, setting up Alonzo Peavy’s 16-yard touchdown run.

Resurrection forced a three-and-out after sacking Koestler on third down, then went to work with a power running game. Jared Shannon finished the drive on the first play of the second quarter with a 5-yard TD run to put Resurrection up 14-0 after Parker Williams’ PAT.

St. Al finally got a drive going, as a pass interference penalty on a Shannon interception gave the Flashes a big first down. Logue took the handoff out of the gun 30 yards to paydirt to cut the deficit to 14-7 after Hudson’s extra point.

As the Eagles did all night, they responded. Shannon’s second touchdown, an 18-yard run with under three minutes remaining in the half, capped a nine-play, 74-yard drive.

St. Al’s final drive of the second quarter stalled, as Koestler was sacked twice. Campbell’s punt was taken by Shannon, who returned it 35 yards to the St. Al 42.

On the next play, freshman quarterback Larry Sisson heaved a toss to Shannon, who beat Campbell and another St. Al defender for a jump ball at the 20. Shannon slipped out of the grasp of the two St. Al defenders and scored a back-breaking TD with just 14 seconds left in the half to put Resurrection up 27-7.

The Flashes left the field at the half stunned and surprised.

“Maybe it was playing on Saturday. Maybe it was the long bus ride,” Senior center Robert Arledge said about St. Al’s poor performance. “I just don’t know.”

In the second half, it was more of the same.

Resurrection scored on its first drive on a 33-yard run by Peavy and went to their air on its final drive, as Sisson hit four straight completions and capped the scoring with a 20-yard TD hookup with Irving Spikes.

“We knew it was hard to click on all cylinders after a four-game losing streak,” Resurrection coach Rocky Gaudin said. “In the past four weeks, we played four of the top teams in the state of Mississippi and we had chances to win all four of those games. So I’m proud of our kids for bouncing back.”