Flashes roll in playoff opener

Published 12:37 am Saturday, October 31, 2015

St. Aloysius’ DeMichael Harris carried the ball into the end zone not once, not twice, but four separate times in the first quarter alone against Bayou Academy on Friday night.

But that’s not all the star running back did.

He found the end zone twice more to help run the final score up to 56-28 against the Colts, broke an 81-year-old school record and sent the Flashes on to the second round of the MAIS Class AAA playoffs.

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Harris finished the game with 395 rushing yards, including 209 in the first half, and six touchdowns. His yardage total broke the school record of 310 set by Charles Guiney in 1934 and was the first 300-yard rushing game by a Warren County player since 2004.

It was also just the fourth time a Warren County player has rushed for six touchdowns in a game. The last to do it was Porters Chapel’s Peter Harris in 2012.

Warren Central’s Larry Warner had the last 300-yard game, in the 2004 Red Carpet Bowl against Southaven. Harris is the ninth county player to accomplish the feat.

With his sixth touchdown, he became the school’s all-time rushing TD leader at 46, breaking the record previously held by Stacy Williams at 45.

“It feels great, like I said I have the best O-line, I believe in the state,” Harris said.

St. Al (5-6) advanced face Silliman Institute in the second round next Friday in Clinton, La. Silliman beat Heritage Academy 43-7 Friday in a first-round game.

The damage against Bayou was pretty much done in the first quarter as St. Al took a 35-6 lead.

Aside from Harris’ four touchdowns, Will Pierce found Josh Brown for a 26-yard TD reception with 8:38 on the clock. It was a two-play drive, which began on the Colts’ 27-yard line after Landon Middleton recovered a fumble.

“The first quarter, to start like that, puts a lot of pressure on teams,” said St. Al coach BJ Smithhart. “The offensive line blocked great. Josh banged it in there, DeMichael got that creasing and took off, Will did a good job and hit a big early touchdown pass and kept them on their heels.”

St. Al kept most of the offense on the ground and stuck with a base of three or four power runs. Other than the touchdown pass from Pierce to Brown and a screen pass to Lane Hynum that set up an 18-yard rushing touchdown for Josh Price, the aerial attack was limited.

“Really we didn’t have the right personnel in and the clock was running low,” Price said. “The quarterback just made a decision and made a great call so we just ran five right and it just opened up for me.”

He added it was a blessing to have the season continue.

“Playing senior year, you have to come out here and play as hard as you can,” Price said. “You never know how many games you’re going to get. I’m just glad we got one more.”