Flashes lose handle, game against Washington

Published 1:17 am Saturday, September 8, 2018

St. Aloysius was in an unusual place Friday night, nursing a lead and seemingly in control of the game.
An instant later, it was right back in a spot that’s become all too familiar lately.

Washington School scored two touchdowns in an 84-second span late in the third quarter to turn a 10-point deficit into a four-point lead, and went on to beat the Flashes 28-17.

St. Al (0-4) remained winless this season, and has now lost 16 consecutive non-district games dating back to the 2015 season. It’ll host Porter’s Chapel Academy next week in a District 3-AAA matchup that might be the last chance for both teams to salvage their playoff hopes.

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“We’re not used to having the lead, I guess, and we kind of slacked off,” St. Al senior wide receiver Ryan Theriot said. “We can’t do that when we’re playing a good team. We got away from our game plan and couldn’t get it together in the second half. We thought we had it and just couldn’t execute on offense.”

St. Al showed some improvement from its first three games, when it was outscored 110-28, in all three phases of the game.

Its defense held Washington (2-2) to seven points in the first half, and forced four consecutive three-and-outs at one point. Linebacker Michael Robinson finished with 16 tackles, while Tyler Breithaupt and Ethan Parmegiani each had a sack. Kieran Theriot had 11 tackles and an interception.

On offense, backup quarterback Alvin Brown — playing his third game in relief of the injured Phillip Upshaw, who is expected back next week — threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Evan Fedell and a 28-yarder to Theriot on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter.

Theriot finished with seven receptions for 78 yards. He also had a 43-yard punt return in the third quarter that set up a 21-yard field goal by Connor Smith to put the Flashes ahead 17-7. Smith averaged 36 yards on six punts.

The Flashes bogged down offensively in the second half, however. They only had two first downs and 29 total yards in the 2 ½ quarters after Theriot’s touchdown catch.

The slump opened the door for Washington to mount a comeback. Thomas Barr capped a 10-play scoring drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 1:32 left in the third quarter. Four plays later, John Bentley Suares stepped in front of Brown’s out route that was intended for Theriot and zipped 55 yards up the sideline for a touchdown and the lead.

“It was a real body blow, but it was also a learning experience. We’ve got to learn how to fight that adversity and come back from that. I thought we were. We were moving the ball that next-to-last drive. We just had two errant passes,” St. Al coach Michael Fields said.

St. Al punted twice and turned it over on downs on its next three possessions despite starting all of them on its own 40-yard line or better. Caleb Janous finally put the nail in the coffin for the Flashes by breaking a 30-yard touchdown run with 1:04 left to give the Generals a 28-17 lead.

Janous then intercepted a pass on St. Al’s ensuing drive to put a period on the night.

“It took us about five minutes to get ourselves back together after that,” Fields said of the pick-six. “But the defense and special teams kept us in it. (Smith) is a difference-maker. He keeps us in good field position and the other teams in bad field position. If we can keep doing that, it’s all going to come together. But it needs to come together next week.”

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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