St. Aloysius, St. Joe both in need of a victory

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

St. Aloysius head coach BJ Smithhart said it’s frustrating to start the season winless, after coaching his team to a 13-2 record and championship game appearance last year. So far, his defense has given up 83 points to Cathedral and Pisgah, and the Flashes have lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2012.

Things didn’t seem to get better as star running back DeMichael Harris rolled his ankle against Pisgah last week.

But Smithhart hopes the Flashes’ luck will change when they face long time rival Madison-St. Joseph on Friday night.

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“It’s a really good battle when we play them, probably our longest standing rivalry as far as most games played against them,” Smithhart said. “The kids know each other well and we usually play them in every sport, so it should be a fun game.”

Both teams are looking for their first win of the season, making this game matter that much more. St. Joe has also had a tough start to the season, losing to Salem by 20 points and getting shut out by Cathedral last Friday.

This week’s game against the Bruins will be a physical matchup for a dinged-up Flashes squad.

“I think they’ll be bigger than us and they’re going to have more players,” Smithhart said. “I know we’ve got a couple of nicks, bumps and bruises, so we’ve got to see who’s healthy. They’re probably a little young too, so we should see.”

Smithhart is focusing on playing a more efficient game to defeat the Bruins. He said the Flashes have turned the ball over at inopportune times and committed mental errors that result in big plays.

Since Harris’ ankle injury occurred on the second series against Pisgah, the Flashes have basically played a game without his prowess on the field, so adjusting shouldn’t be an issue if he misses Friday’s game.

Harris is currently day-to-day with his injury. If he can’t go, sophomore Connor Bottin is likely to get the start. Bottin filled in against Pisgah after Harris was hurt and finished with 119 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown, and scored five TDs last season as a backup.

“If (Harris) doesn’t play this week, I don’t see him missing more than this week,” Smithhart said. “We won’t know till mid-week Thursday. We’ll work another couple of guys at tailback this week to get them ready.”

Smithhart said he has some players who haven’t played a lot of football and knows they’ll get better as the season progresses.

The Flashes gave up 45 points in the second half against Pisgah, after holding them to only a touchdown in the first. The team is most looking forward to getting back on the field and redeeming themselves.

“After you have a night like Friday, you just want to get back out there and play again,” Smithhart said.

Madison-St. Joseph at St. Aloysius

Friday, 7 p.m.

Radio: 101.3 FM

Online: For live scoring updates on Friday night, visit, or