Flashes gash Central Hinds

Published 1:18 am Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ben Brown got his number called in the huddle Friday night and wasn’t about to mess it up. Lined up at fullback, St. Aloysius’ 290-pound offensive tackle got the handoff, took a couple of steps forward, and dived over the pile into the end zone.

It wasn’t very graceful. He looked more like a diver doing a belly flop than Walter Payton soaring over the top. He got the job done, though, just like the Flashes are doing late in the season.

Brown was one of five different players to score touchdowns for St. Al on Friday as it destroyed Central Hinds 41-14.

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St. Al had 527 yards of total offense to just 137 for Central Hinds in a game that had a running clock the entire second half.

The win kept St. Al (2-7, 2-1 District 3-AAA) on course for an improbable run to a third consecutive district championship. It was winless two weeks ago, but has since beaten Manchester (5-3, 3-1) and Central Hinds (5-4, 1-2) in back-to-back weeks to move into second place.

If the Flashes beat Riverfield next week, and Central Hinds beats Hartfield Academy, they will win the district and a berth in the MAIS Class AAA playoffs. If St. Al and Hartfield both win, Hartfield will likely win the district title through a three-way point differential tiebreaker.

“It’s always fun to win. That was probably the hardest part of keeping it together, is the kids want to win. That’s a testament to them to be playing like this once we got a chance to show it,” St. Al coach BJ Smithhart said. “We’ve got a chance to win our district championship, and those things don’t grow on trees. We’ll take it.”

That St. Al beat Central Hinds wasn’t necessarily surprising. How easily it did it was.

The Flashes took the opening kickoff and went down the field to score on a 31-yard pass from Antonio Thompson to Tyler Lewis. Central Hinds then fumbled on its first play, St. Al recovered, and Thompson threw a 28-yard TD pass to Brandon Teller.

Central Hinds turned it over again on its next possession, and St. Al drove the length of the field to score on Jamar Williams’ 20-yard run. That made it 20-0 with 1:05 left in the first quarter, and the rout was on.

“We’ve been a big play team all year, so I knew when we got that (fumble) we needed to take a deep shot,” Smithhart said. “Antonio puts it in a good spot, throws a very catchable ball, and if it’s a 50-50 ball with Brandon we like our odds. That definitely takes the wind out of other teams.”

Brown, an Ole Miss commit with a bright future ahead of him, got what he called “an unforgettable experience” midway through the second quarter.

After the Flashes had first-and-goal at the 10, Brown carried the ball three straight times. The four-year starter dove into the end zone on the last for the first touchdown of his high school career.

“I tried pushing all 290 pounds into that end zone,” said Brown, who also recovered a fumble on defense. “I’m just glad it happened. I kept trying to hit them down low, but that wasn’t working. Then I saw he was kind of low so I said, ‘OK, I’m just going to fly up in.’”

Brown’s touchdown made it 27-0, and the Flashes continued to add to the lead. Jaylen Whitaker scored on a 3-yard run, and Thompson threw a 36-yard TD pass to Teller with 10 seconds left in the half to make it 41-7.

Thompson completed 8 of 9 passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 92 yards.

Teller caught four passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns, and Williams carried the ball 14 times for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Donald Woodson had two interceptions on defense.

Tanner Leggett and Dylan Case each had a rushing touchdown for Central Hinds.

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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