Flashes show little progress

Published 11:58 am Tuesday, October 11, 2011

PASCAGOULA – Film never lies.

If an uninitiated observer was told that one of the two teams in Saturday’s St. Aloysius-Resurrection game was a third-year rebooted football program and the other was a program that had been playing football since the early 1900s, they would’ve assumed that St. Aloysius was the startup.

It was that bad.

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“We just didn’t play football,” St. Al quarterback Carlisle Koestler said of his team’s performance. “Maybe it was the Saturday kickoff. We were not in sync.”

And things don’t get any easier for St. Aloysius, which will finish out the schedule against two of the region’s top teams — Stringer (5-2, 4-1) and Bogue Chitto (7-0, 5-0). The Flashes’ final game is against perpetual nemesis Mount Olive.

With the exception of a brief highwater point on St. Al’s first drive, the Flashes (1-7, 1-5 Region 4-1A) were never in the contest with a team, Resurrection, that is coming off a four-game losing streak and is in its first year of region play.

A 56-yard connection between Koestler and Zane Russell was the team’s longest play from scrimmage, but the Flashes could not turn it into points after Blake Hudson’s field goal attempt missed.

Crucial penalties dogged the Flashes like sand in the gears. Running backs Forest Logue and Carlton Campbell, with a few exceptions, saw little running room against an Eagle defense that had little fear of St. Al’s passing game and stacked the line on nearly every play.

The loss ended Campbell’s five-game streak of rushing for 100 yards or more. The senior tailback led the team with 11 rushes for 73 yards and also had a 24-yard toss to Russell on a fake punt.

Russell had a nice game with three catches for 84 yards.

Koestler was sacked four times and threw one interception. Four snaps were mishandled by three St. Al quarterbacks — Koestler, Logue and freshman Connor Smith, who got his first game experience on the Flashes’ final drive.

But no one sequence hurt the Flashes more than in the final minute, with Resurrection leading 21-7. The Eagles hauled down Koestler twice in a row and backed the Flashes up deep into the shadow of their own goal posts. Jared Shannon, who added an interception and a rushing TD to an incredible tally, returned the punt 35 yards to the Flashes’ 42-yard line. With under a minute remaining, freshman quarterback Larry Sisson heaved a prayer to Shannon, who beat two St. Al defenders for the jump ball, avoided them when they collided and streaked 20 yards further for the touchdown.

What little wind in the St. Al sails was gone after that.

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