Leake floods St. Al

Published 11:57 pm Friday, August 17, 2018

Like most areas around Mississippi, weather played a factor in Madden Friday night as St. Aloysius opened its season at Leake Academy.

After a nearly 45-minute weather delay, the Flashes struck as quick as the lightning in the area, but it was all the offense they could muster in a 28-7 loss to the Rebels.

Wyatt Estep ran for two touchdowns for Leake, which beat the Flashes in the season opener for the second year in a row. St. Al’s losing streak in non-district games was extended to 13.
St. Al coach Michael Fields said his team ran into a very physical.

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“They were physical and they outlasted us up front,” Fields said. “When they have big linemen like they had, they banged us down. We had success early and then things went south on us. Their size made a difference tonight.”

Defensive back Alvin Brown picked off a pass in the end zone to set up the first St. Al possession of the night and its only touchdown.

On the second play of the opening drive, St. Al running back Preston McGowan caught a short pass from Phillip Upshaw and went 65 yards for the score. Connor Smith added the point after to give the Flashes a 7-0 lead with 9:52 to play in the first quarter.

That was pretty much all the offense the Flashes were able to generate on the night, with penalties and critical turnovers playing a key factor in the outcome.

With 4:16 to play in the second quarter, a fumble by St. Al deep in its own territory set up Leake’s first score and shifted the momentum. The Rebels, who moved the ball regularly up and down the field, finally cracked the goal line two plays after the fumble on a 4-yard run by Wyatt Estep. The extra point by Cameron Brown tied the game at 7.

Following a 40-yard run by Sam Wilder, Leake quarterback Will-Lawson Harkins connected on a long pass to Ryan Atkinson down to the St. Al 1-yard line. On the ensuing play, Estep punched it in and the extra point by Brown put Leake Academy on top 14-7 just before halftime.

A crucial pass interference call and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty extended a fourth quarter Leake possession that resulted in an 8-yard scoring run by Josh Morrow. Brown’s third point after made it 21-7. With 8:10 to play in the game, Leake Academy tacked on a fourth TD that sealed the victory.
Fields said the defense played well, but the crucial fourth down pass interference call and an offsides penalty on fourth down both led to touchdowns for the Rams.

“Both those penalties extended drives,” Fields said. “We’ve got to get off the field. But they’re learning, getting better and they played well. We just played a good football team tonight.”
St. Al will play its home opener next Friday at 7 p.m. against Adams County Christian.