Flashes find spark, way into win column

Published 11:32 pm Sunday, August 31, 2014

For five quarters this season, St. Aloysius seemed in a slump.

Cathedral gashed the Flashes for 412 rushing yards and 42 points on opening night. Pisgah drove down the field and cashed in a turnover for a two-touchdown lead in Week 2.

The Flashes needed a wake-up call, but more than that they needed a jolt. That’s where DeMichael Harris came in.

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The junior running back returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter Friday night against Pisgah to cut that two-touchdown deficit in half. It was the first of 35 unanswered points the Flashes scored on the way to a 35-14 win that shook them out of their early-season doldrums.

“It definitely woke us up tonight, and it snowballed from there,” St. Al coach BJ Smithhart said. “We’ve just got to come back and do it against next week.”

The Flashes (1-1) face Catholic school rival Madison-St. Joe (1-1) this Friday, and are heading into that game on a 180-degree turnaround from where they were a week ago.

The defense stiffened after its shaky start against Pisgah and shut out the Dragons for the last three quarters.

Offensively, Harris and Tae Warnsley had two rushing touchdowns apiece to lead the comeback. Harris’ two touchdowns gave him five for the season, with four going for 15 yards or more.

“That really changes a game,” Smithhart said of his team’s ability to generate big plays on offense. “Big plays and explosive plays. I hope that continues.”

Smithhart said his team showed up against Pisgah with an extra spring in its step that was amplified by Harris’ kickoff return.

Whether it was some embarrassment over the season-opening loss or just hunger to improve didn’t matter, he said. The end result — a win and all-around improvement — was just what he was looking for.

“Excitement,” he said of the biggest difference between the two games. “We lacked that little spark. Whatever did it tonight, we played better.”

Up next

Friday, 7 p.m.

St. Aloysius at Madison-St. Joe

Radio: 101.3 FM

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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