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ACCS bounces Flashes from MAIS playoffs

By the end of the first quarter Friday night, the St. Aloysius Flashes were down to their fifth-string quarterback and 28 points behind on the scoreboard.

Obviously, they did not get to celebrate a playoff victory.

D.J. Stampley threw three touchdown passes, and Adams County Christian School scored all of its points in the first half to rout St. Al 41-10 in the first round of the MAIS Class 5A playoffs on Friday.

St. Al lost in the first round of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, and finished this year with a 5-6 record. In two games against ACCS in the past month, it was outscored 75-10 in the first half.

ACCS (8-3) advanced to face Silliman Institute in the second round next week.

“We had a lot of positives,” St. Al coach Michael Fields said of the Flashes’ season as a whole. “We finished .500 at the end of the regular season and fought some adversity going into the playoffs. We just have to continue to grow and take that next step next season.”

St. Al’s quarterback depth chart was decimated in short order on Friday.

Starter Alvin Brown, who leads the team with 1,174 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, did not make the trip to Natchez because of an illness. Backup Kieran Theriot was injured in the first half, and his replacement Connor Paxton broke his leg while trying to recover a fumble.

Phillip Upshaw, who started the year at quarterback, was already out with a season-ending injury. That meant Fields was trying to find anyone who could take a snap to play the most important position on the field in the biggest game of the season.

The injuries affected other positions as well. Theriot is one of the team’s best defensive players and a versatile offensive weapon. Brennon Williams, who wound up playing most of the second half at quarterback, is normally a receiver. Losing them or moving them around took away threats at other places when they were needed most.

“All of that happened in the first quarter, so we were scuffling the whole game to find players to put out there,” Fields said.

Claven Dunbar started ACCS’ (8-3) offensive onslaught with a 32-yard touchdown run just 2 minutes and 20 seconds into the game. Stampley threw two touchdown passes by the end of the first quarter, and the Rebels also returned a blocked punt for a touchdown to lead 28-0.

Fields said the blocked punt, which made it 21-0 with 2:34 left, was the backbreaker.

“Special teams scores can really deflate you,” Fields said.

Corey Sewell added a 60-yard run and Stampley threw a 17-yard TD pass to Yohan Thompson to put ACCS ahead 41-3 at halftime.

St. Al’s points came on a 22-yard field goal by Theriot and a 27-yard pass from Brennan Williams to Thomas Phillips in the fourth quarter.