Leake Academy eliminates St. Al from Class AAA playoffs

Published 1:40 am Saturday, October 27, 2018

MADDEN — St. Aloysius rode a monthlong wave of momentum into the playoffs, but it eventually carried them over a cliff.

Sam Wilder scored six touchdowns, and Leake Academy pulled away from the Flashes after an even start to win 48-7 on Friday night in the first round of the MAIS Class AAA playoffs.

Leake Academy (9-2) beat St. Al for the second time this season — it also won 28-7 in the season opener — and advanced to face Heritage Academy in the second round.

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St. Al (6-5) lost for just the second time in seven games. It had overcome an 0-4 start to reach the playoffs and finished with a winning record for the first time since 2014.

“All in all, it was a productive season. It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, but I guess you can’t get everything you want,” St. Al coach Michael Fields said. “When we started the season we wanted to make the playoffs and finish with a winning record. We accomplished those things, and that’s big for the future of the program.”

Alvin Brown scored on a 3-yard run to give St. Al a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, but a pivotal play early in the second turned the game 180 degrees.

A Leake receiver fumbled at the end of a long pass play, but was ruled down. The Rebels retained possession, wound up scoring on the drive, and never trailed again.

Wilder scored another touchdown to make it 21-7 at halftime, then twice in the second half. Quarterback Wyatt Estep also scored on a short run in the fourth quarter.

St. Al finished with only 120 yards of offense and committed two turnovers. Quarterback Phillip Upshaw was 5-of-14 passing for 77 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, and Brown rushed nine times for 27 yards. Leake finished with 420 yards of offense, including 325 on the ground. The Rebels only attempted four passes.

Michael Robinson and Tyler Breithaupt led St. Al’s defense with nine tackles apiece.

“After that, everything went south,” Fields said of the fumble. That’s a culture thing we’ve got to change. We’ve got to learn to fight all the way.”

Tallulah Academy 48, Franklin Academy 8
Joshua Collins and Garrett Paris each ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns as Tallulah Academy (10-0, 5-0 District 4-E) routed Franklin Academy (0-9, 0-5) to finish an undefeated regular season.

Tallulah earned the No. 1 seed in the MAIS eight-man playoff bracket, and will host Sharkey-Issaquena Academy (7-3) in the first round next Friday night.

Collins scored Tallulah’s first three touchdowns against Franklin, on runs of 35, 53 and 73 yards. Paris added the next three, on runs of 23, 7 and 46 yards as the Trojans led 48-8 at halftime. The second half was played with a running clock.

Carter Sullivan led Tallulah’s defense with seven tackles, and Will Sullivan had an interception. Franklin finished with just 43 yards of total offense. Its only touchdown came on a 90-yard kickoff return by Wesley Gwin.