Huge victories are validation for Vikings, Flashes

Published 11:20 am Thursday, September 27, 2012

It takes only one spark to ignite a fire.

Can a near-perfect game do the same to a season? Warren Central and St. Aloysius certainly hope big wins last week translate to future successes.

St. Aloysius’ 33-7 rout of Hartfield Academy gave the Flashes (1-4, 1-2 Region 4-1A) the boost that coach B.J. Smithhart has been waiting for. The Flashes controlled affairs defensively, ran the ball with authority and put the hammer down late to quell any hopes of a Hartfield rally.

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The best part was the depth shown by a St. Al squad that has taken one on the chin via the injury bug. Five players rushed for 30 or more yards, led by Barrett Teller’s 99 yards. The Flashes racked up a season-best 418 yards on offense and finally looked to be in sync.

It was the second of two excellent weeks for St. Al. The Flashes led Dexter 7-0 for most of the game last week and lost a heartbreaker 16-7 thanks to a spectacular pitch-and-catch play that set up the game-winning touchdown.

Friday, with momentum filling their sails, the Flashes host archrival Cathedral. St. Al’s path to a possible playoff berth is a rocky one ahead with Class 1A powerhouses Bogue Chitto and Stringer on the docket, but it’s not beyond reason for the Flashes to get into the mix with six region games remaining.

Across the county, Warren Central opened some eyes and unleashed some frustration on Northwest Rankin in a 28-7 thrashing. One fact repeated in Warren Central’s fieldhouse earlier in the week was the last time the Vikings beat Northwest, they went to the playoffs.

The Vikings (2-3, 1-0 Region 2-6A) looked like a playoff team with all facets accounted for in the game’s final tally. A young defense, which has struggled at times in the non-region slate, came up huge with four turnovers. The offense was balanced, as the Vikings rushed for a season-best 198 yards. Carlisle Koestler had his best game under center, completing 5 of 7 passes for 88 yards, 53 of them coming on a scoring toss to Greg King, who finished with two scores.

Like St. Al, the bulk of the region schedule looms ahead for Warren Central. But if the Vikings continue playing like they did against Northwest Rankin, there’s no reason why they can’t make the playoffs or host a home playoff game. A region championship, something the Vikings haven’t taken since 2004, isn’t out of the realm of possibility either.

It’s good to see two teams that once were struggling now finding their momentum.

Now it’s just a question of where momentum can take them.

Steve Wilson is sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. You can follow him on Twitter at vpsportseditor. He can be reached at 601-636-4545, ext. 142 or at