Salem played a football game against a team from the New River Valley for the second straight week last Friday, and this one turned out much better. Salem followed a 37 point loss to Blacksburg with a 55-14 win over Christiansburg at Salem Stadium.
“We played the way we were capable,” said Salem coach Stephen Magenbauer. “We didn’t have a lot of penalties and big plays called back. We cut back on our mistakes.”
Magenbauer was anxious to see how the Spartans would react after the loss to Blacksburg. The Spartans don’t lose often, and the Blacksburg game could be considered a wakeup call.
“I thought our kids responded well, and it was more than just the game,” he said. “They practiced hard throughout the week. You could tell it meant something to them. We’re trying to take steps to do better.”
Once the game started, it was all Salem. It was recreation night and the Spartans had 49 points before the recreation teams ran the field at halftime.
The Spartans led 14-0 after the first quarter. Luke Owen broke loose for a 53 yard TD run and Van Richardson scored on a five yard run.
Salem put 35 points on the board in the second quarter alone. Owen ran another long one, this time from 73 yards, to give the Spartans a 21-0 lead. De’Angelo Ramsey scored on a short run, Viante Tucker scored on a long pass from Jack Gladden and a punt return, and Nathan Delby scored his first touchdown of the season on a 25 yard pass from Gladden to top off the half. Isaish Persinger scored a third quarter touchdown and that was all she wrote as the clock ran continuously due to the mercy rule.
Owen finished with 132 yards on just three carries, an average of 44 yards per attempt. Ramsey carried three times for 57 yards and Persinger had seven attempts for 33. Josh Mutshipule had 30 yards on seven carries as Salem finished with 269 rushing yards on 26 attempts, an average of over 10 yards per carry for the game.
Gladden threw the ball just twice and completed both for touchdowns, one to Tucker for 56 yards and one to Delby for 25. Craft was seven for seven on extra points, all in the first half.
On defense Tucker Sam Sumpter and Richardson had six tackles each to lead the team. Richardson and Avery Close had sacks and Delby had an interception.
Now 4-2, Salem will be at Patrick Henry this week to play the Patriots at Merrill Gainer Stadium. The Pats are 3-2 after losing to Blacksburg last week, 42-9.
“They’re a typical PH team,” said Magenbauer. “They’re very athletic and they can hurt you with big plays.”
Salem’s jayvee team beat Christiansburg, 34-0. The jayvees will host Patrick Henry tonight.