The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


September 20, 2013

Flash ‘looking to improve’

JOHNSTOWN — When the St. Francis Red Flash start fast, they finish slow. When they start slow, they finish strong.

As the upstart program gains traction under coach Chris Villareal, it’s about playing strong through all 60 minutes.

Following road losses at FCS powers Georgia Southern and James Madison, the Red Flash open their home schedule today when Division II Lincoln visits DeGol Field. The game kicks off at 2 p.m.

“We’re looking to improve and of course correct the mistakes we’ve made the first two weeks,” Villareal said. “We’re looking to clean our style up.”

The home half of the St. Francis schedule creates a luxury that hasn’t been afforded to the squad very much in the past: six home games.

Villareal sees that as another element to aid the program in its rise.

“It’s really nice. We have to capitalize and make it work,” Villareal said of the six-game slate at home. “The (Northeast Conference) is gettting better this year. We have to learn to defend our home turf.” 

The Red Flash (0-2) will see a Lincoln squad apt to move the football on the ground under the guidance of new coach Ramon Flanigan.

“Lincoln likes to run the ball,” Villareal said. “They have very good special teams. They’ve got a new head coach and they’re rebuilding. We’re looking for a hard-fought game.”

The Lions (1-1) visit Loretto after a 45-3 loss at Sacred Heart. Lincoln topped Cheyney 33-28 to open its campaign. The path to success against the Red Flash this season has been to run the ball. On Sept. 7, Georgia Southern toted the ball 43 times for 306 yards.

Last week, James Madison accrued 253 yards on rushes.

Six of the 10 touchdowns allowed by the Red Flash have come on the ground.

St. Francis’ salvation in defending against a run-happy team may be that Lincoln has rushed for 106 yards on 78 carries, averaging just 1.35 yards per rush.

St. Francis also isn’t afraid to run the ball.

Through the Red Flash’s first two games, the team has rushed for 306 yards on 98 attempts, scoring three of the offense’s four touchdowns on the ground.

Kyle Harbridge’s 242 yards and Khari Dickson’s two touchdowns lead St. Francis in those respective categories.

In St. Francis’ fast start at nationally ranked James Madison, it was the big-play prowess of the Red Flash that helped them to a 14-3 lead in the third quarter. Eventually, the Dukes overcame St. Francis, dropping the Red Flash 24-20.

What did St. Francis learn from the near-upset? 

“You can’t make mistakes against good teams,” Villareal said.

“We had them on the ropes, we didn’t capitalize. It wasn’t for lack of effort; the kids fought hard. We made too many mental mistakes against a team that you can’t make mental mistakes against.” 

Shawn Curtis is a news assistant for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Pirates Brawl 0420 Brewers top Pirates in game highlighted by dustup

    Ryan Braun homered in the ninth inning to tie it, then Khris Davis hit a home run in the 14th that put Milwaukee ahead for good.
    Yet those were hardly the big blows that attracted all the attention Sunday in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Football team ends boycott of embattled coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato’s football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.
    Hoffner said he assured the players, who refused to take the practice field Wednesday, that interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team in Hoffner’s absence, will continue in a major role with the team.

    April 20, 2014

  • Penguins 0420a Game 3 pivotal for both teams

    Not so long ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets were the worst team in the NHL.
    Now they’re heading home for tonight’s Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series with the star-studded Pittsburgh Penguins, hoping to make even more history.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0419 Blue Jackets outlast Pens in double-OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
    Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury stuffed the initial shot by Cam Atkinson but Calvert stood all alone at the left post and wristed a shot into the open net to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at one game each.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0419 Brewers rally to clip Pirates

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area runners gearing for Boston Marathon

    The time was 12:15 p.m. It was Monday April 19, 1897.  Tom Burke had drawn a line across the dirt road with his foot. Eighteen men gathered near Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2014

  • SRU vs UPJ baseball0418 1 UPJ takes one, drops second

    John Fees’ spring baseball season accurately mirrors that of his Pitt-Johnstown team.
    Fees started slow, losing his first four decisions, but has rebounded nicely in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pirates 0418 Brewers ward off late Pirates rally bid

    Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
    Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drama lacking sans Tiger

    If professional golf saw its future at Augusta National last weekend, the sight had to be worse than choking on a 5-foot putt.
    The course was there in all its splendor.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penguins 0418 Penguins are wary of spunky Blue Jackets

    Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
    Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo