PHOTOS BY BRIAN HOFFMAN
Above left, Zavione Wood(#42) picks up a Blacksburg fumble and, above right, dashes 53 yards to the end zone for Salem’s first touchdown Tuesday night.
The Salem High football team waited 15 months to play a game, then rushed through the second half when they finally got back on the field.
Salem opened the 2020 season in 2021 Tuesday evening with a 50-0 win over Blacksburg at Salem Stadium. The Spartans dominated the game from start to finish, scoring 36 unanswered points in the first half to keep the clock running after intermission.
The Spartans got on the board just four minutes and 16 seconds into the game when the defense forced a fumble at midfield and Zavione Wood scooped it up and ran 53 yards for a touchdown. Freshman Wesley Cross kicked the extra point and the Spartans were off to the races.
The Spartans struck again the next time they had the ball, and again it was Wood crossing the goal line. This time he went off the left side for 76 yards and Cross did the honors again, making the score 14-0 Salem after one period.
One of many bad Blacksburg snaps led to Salem’s next touchdown. The Bruins fired one over the punter’s head and, after he scrambled to retrieve the ball, Salem was able to take over at the Blacksburg 37. Two plays later quarterback Chauncy Logan, Jr. ran off the right side for a 33 yard touchdown and Cross’ third kick made it 21-0 with 7:32 remaining until the half.
The defense set up the next Salem score. Blacksburg quarterback Parker Epperly was shaken up on a run and had to leave the game. On the next play his replacement fumbled and Cameron Martindale, who was wrestling in the state tournament just three days prior, picked it up and returned the ball to the Blacksburg 33. On first down Logan hit Wood for a 32 yard gain to the one and Cam Leftwich did the honors. This time Cross didn’t get off the kick after a poor snap but Logan, who is also the holder, rolled left and found Leftwich in the end zone for a two point conversion, making it 29-0.
Salem closed out the half with one more score, again set up by a poor Blacksburg snap. This time Salem took over from the Bruin 30, and on second down Logan passed to Shawn Collins for a 29 yard TD and Cross’ kick made it 36-0 at the half.
With the big lead the clock ran continuously in the second half, but the Spartans were able to tack two more scores on the board. Wood had a 24 yard run in the third quarter and Shaq Ramey polished things off with a three yard run with 5:02 remaining. Cross was perfect on the conversion both times, giving the freshman six successful kicks in his first varsity game.
The Spartans will try to sweep their Montgomery County River Ridge District rivals this Saturday when they travel to Christiansburg for an afternoon game. Kickoff is set for 1 pm.