Flashes trying to dig out of hole

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The St. Aloysius Flashes have played their way into a tight spot. Two weeks of a struggling offense and a tough schedule have left them winless, and this Friday night offers little relief from the latter.

The Flashes (0-2) will go on the road to face Central Hinds (1-0) in their District 3-AAA opener. Central Hinds is the favorite to win the district title, which provides St. Al both a difficult challenge and an opportunity to pull itself out of its funk.

“We know this week is a district game and we must rise to the occasion. If we don’t do it now that we’re in the district, I don’t know when we will rise,” St. Al coach Michael Fields said. “In this district it always seems to come down to the end. But if we can beat Central Hinds, who most people think will win it, it’ll go a long way toward not just winning the district but making the playoffs.”

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To pull off an upset, the Flashes need to get on track offensively. They scored on their first possession of the season, and have not found the end zone since. They are averaging only 3.3 yards per play, and that number drops to 2.3 yards if the lone touchdown — a 65-yard pass — is removed.

Fields said ill-timed penalties have hurt the team, as well as a shaky offensive line that has limited the passing game. Other than the long touchdown play, the Flashes have completed 5 of 19 passes for 27 yards, with three interceptions.

“In crunch time, something happens to kill a drive. When you’re struggling on offense, third-and-4 is better than third-and-9,” Fields said. “The only positive thing is, we haven’t turned the ball over a lot. We’ve seen some good points. We’re going to continue to build and hope this is the game we turn it around.”

One thing the Flashes might be able to build on was the emergence of Alvin Brown as a backup quarterback who can provide a change of pace.

Brown filled in when starter Phillip Upshaw was injured early in last week’s 40-0 loss to Adams County Christian. Although Brown was 0-for-4 passing with three interceptions, he ran for 65 yards on 12 carries.

Upshaw’s status for this week is uncertain, but Fields liked what he saw from Brown and said Brown could get some extra carries.

“Alvin is more of a physical ballplayer. It makes our running game better,” Fields said.

Central Hinds is also physical and likes to run the ball. It will be a counter to St. Al’s speed-based approach and could play in the Flashes’ favor, Fields said.

“I think it’s a favorable matchup,” Fields said. “They run the ball well, but they’re limited in the passing game. Our kids know they’ll just have to be physical. I think we’ll play hard and have a great chance.”

All games start at 7 p.m.

St. Aloysius at Central Hinds (Radio: 101.3 FM)
Porter’s Chapel at Hillcrest Christian (Radio: 104.5 FM)
Warren Central at Vicksburg (Radio: 105.5 FM, 107.7 FM and 1490 AM)
Natchez at Port Gibson
Clinton at Brandon
Desoto School at Sharkey-Issaquena
Briarfield at Wilkinson Christian
Tallulah Academy at Prairie View
Madison Parish at Bossier


For live updates and game coverage on Friday night, follow us at facebook.com/thevicksburgpost, twitter.com/vixpostsports, and vicksburgpost.com

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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