St. Al offense struggles in defeat

Published 11:11 am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Two yards. Three downs. Six feet or 72 inches.

That was the distance at the St. Aloysius 40-yard line separating the Flashes from keeping their second drive of the second half alive, down just 6-3.

It was, as coaching clichés go, gut-check time.

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But when Hinds AHS stuffed two straight fullback dives at the line of scrimmage and stopped Connor Smith a yard shy on a quarterback sneak, the War Dawgs took an almost insurmountable two-score lead two plays later a 32-yard TD run by Aaron Terrell to propel them to a 20-3 victory Friday.

After the fateful turnover on downs, St. Al managed 44 yards of offense. Fullback Elliott Bexley gained 77 yards in the first half, but was held to 3 yards on five carries in the second. The War Dawgs swarmed the gaps and forced the Flashes to go to the air. Smith was 7-of-16 for 59 yards and two interceptions. Freshman Will Pierce, who split snaps with Smith at QB, threw four passes, completing one with one interception.

“I thought our defense played really well,” St. Aloysius coach B.J. Smithhart said. “They busted a couple of big runs, but that’s what they do. We’ve got to make some more plays offensively.”

St. Al (2-7, 2-6 Region 4-1A) travels to top-ranked Bogue Chitto Friday.

For the War Dawgs (5-4, 3-4), it was another step on the road back to contention after back-to-back losing seasons.

Despite two first-half

fumbles, the War Dawgs rolled up 313 rushing yards, led by DeAndre Selmon’s 181 yards on 18 carries. He had a 38-yard TD run. Derrius West rushed for 68 yards on 10 carries, with a 20-yard TD run. Terrell rushed eight times for 44 yards, 32 of which came on his TD run.

Te’Yarious Jones led the War Dawgs defensively with 10 tackles, while Taedrin Warnsley had two interceptions.

“We’re trying to have a winning season,” Hinds AHS coach Michael Fields said. “First half, we had too many mistakes and turnovers. In the second half, we did a better job of protecting the ball and the kids got after it.”