Flashes, War Dawgs ready to run

Published 11:27 am Thursday, October 18, 2012

In a football era dominated by pass-happy spread offenses, Friday’s game between St. Aloysius and Hinds AHS will be a welcome throwback to when the running game was a dominant force.

The similarities between the Region 4-1A foes couldn’t be more obvious. Both thrive on a power rushing attack, with some pass plays to keep defenses honest.

Both are young teams trying to build a winner after tough seasons last year.

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St. Aloysius (2-6, 2-4) has made definite strides, but youthful mistakes like ill-timed turnovers have proved its undoing, especially against the region’s best. While the Flashes are out of the playoff chase after last week’s loss to Stringer, Smithhart wants his team to just focus on improving and building some momentum.

“You’re always building and you’re never satisfied,” St. Al coach B.J. Smithhart said. “Everything is a building block and success tends to breed success. We just want to get better each week in the games to come and the years to come.”

Hinds AHS has been a few plays away all season long, playing the two top teams in the region — Bogue Chitto and Stringer — down to the wire. But long-time Hinds AHS coach Michael Fields is happy with the progression of his team after last year’s 4-7 disappointment.

“We shot ourselves in the foot when it comes to the playoffs, but if we win this game, we’ll have a winning record for the first time in three years,” Fields said. “That’s a sign that we’re improving.”

After a string of disappointing losses, the War Dawgs (4-4, 2-4) took out their frustration on region cellar dweller Hartfield Academy in a 53-0 romp last week. DeAndre Selmon had 21 carries for 268 yards and four touchdowns and has 999 yards this season. Aaron Terrell (895 yards, eight scores) is another big-play threat.

“They’ve got so much speed,” Smithhart said. “They thrive on the big play and being physical up front.”

Smithhart said he wants his team to keep the down and distance in their favor, sustaining drives and keeping Hinds’ big-play threats off the field or playing defense.

“We’ve just got to control the ball the ball,” Smithhart said. “That’s our recipe for success.”