Flashes score 63 points on 16 plays in win over Hillcrest

Published 12:14 am Saturday, October 13, 2018

There are enough mathematical possibilities in the MAIS power points formula that it might still be possible for St. Aloysius to lose next week and be left out of the Class AAA playoffs.

That didn’t stop the Flashes from celebrating on Friday night.

The Flashes returned three interceptions for touchdowns in the first half — one each by Thomas Trichell, Alvin Brown and Preston McGowan — and only had 16 offensive snaps to demolish hapless Hillcrest Christian 63-0.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

St. Al scored 35 points in the first seven minutes of the game to trigger a running clock. The game lasted a little more than 90 minutes, including an extended halftime for homecoming.

“You could see the confidence growing sky high. The kids are starting to believe in themselves and their teammates,” said St. Al coach Michael Fields, whose team has won four of its last five games. “Right now it doesn’t matter who we play. I think we’ve got a chance. I think the kids believe that, too. They’re starting to believe in themselves and have confidence in the coaches.”

The win almost assures St. Al (4-5, 2-2 District 3-AAA) of its fifth playoff appearance in six years. It is ranked 12th in the Class AAA power points rankings, when the top 16 qualify. A loss in the finale against Riverfield would hurt St. Al’s seeding and could knock them out, but it would likely take a specific combination of results in other games to make that happen.

“I think we’re just playing for seeding. It’s going to take something catastrophic for us to not make it,” Fields said. “What we’re hoping is we get some strange stuff to happen for us and we can get up into that top eight and get a home game.”

Friday’s win, although expected against a Hillcrest (0-9, 0-5) team that has now lost 21 games in a row, had its share of weirdness.

On the first play of the game, Trichell intercepted a pass and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown. On Hillcrest’s next play, Brown returned another pick 29 yards for a score, and later in the first quarter McGowan made it a hat trick with a 44-yard interception return.

Brown had a 57-yard touchdown run and McGowan a 30-yard TD reception when St. Al actually had the ball to itself, as the Flashes jumped out to a 35-0 lead with about five minutes left in the first quarter.

A long punt return set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Ben Ulery, and Ryan Theriot caught a 28-yard TD pass from Phillip Upshaw to put the Flashes ahead 49-0 at halftime. A 40-yard punt return and a 28-yard run by Brennon Williams closed out the scoring in the first half.

Upshaw finished the game 2-for-2 passing for 58 yards and two touchdowns. Brown carried the ball twice for 65 yards and a TD. In all, the Flashes scored five touchdowns on their 16 offensive snaps and averaged 13.9 yards per play.

Hillcrest had minus-13 yards of total offense and committed four turnovers in its 30 plays.
“We’re starting to come together and be explosive,” Fields said. “It’s coming at the right time.”

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.

email author More by Ernest