This Friday, think Salem and Dinwiddie. It’s a rematch of the 2016 Division 4A state football championship right here at Salem Stadium.
Yes sir, the same two teams that put on a thrilling show at William & Mary last December will be at it again. In that game Salem scored a late TD to win 31-27. Some of the names have changed, but the programs are two of the best in the state.
“They graduated some good players but they have a fair amount back,” said Salem coach Stephen Magenbauer. “They lost their quarterback so I don’t expect them to throw it as much. Their quarterback is good, but he’ll run more.”
Dinwiddie has opened 2-0 with a 70-0 win over Denbeigh and a 61-38 win over Smithfield last week. Smithfield led 14-7 midway through the second quarter before Dinwiddie scored 40 straight points to pull away.
“We’re going to have to play a real clean game this week,” said Magenbauer. “We can’t miss field goals, we have to punt well, we can’t take bad penalties.
“They play hard,” he continued. “They look like they really enjoy playing football. They fly around on defense and play a hurry up pace on offense. They can really put pressure on you.”
This game wasn’t a planned rematch. Salem had Dinwiddie on the schedule well before last year’s championship game, it just worked out this way.
“We put them on the schedule because we want to play good teams,” said Magenbauer. “We don’t want to play the very same teams for 20 years in a row. When you play a team like this you find out a lot about your own team. It’s a big game.”
Salem comes in 2-0 as well after beating Franklin County in the rain at Salem Stadium last week. The Spartans led just 15-0 at the half but scored 27 points in the third quarter to put it away.
First half touchdowns came on a 14 yard run by De’Angelo Ramsey on Salem’s first possession and a three yard run by Tae Hale. The Eagles threatened several times but couldn’t get into the end zone.
Franklin County seemed to tire in the second half and Salem took advantage. Luke Owen scored three third quarter touchdowns on a 32 yard run, a 25 yard run and a classic 68 yard punt return as he broke tackles and changed directions, weaving his way through the Eagles’ coverage team. Hale had a one yard plunge for the other score.
Owen finished with 128 yards rushing on nine carries and Ramsey had 90 yards on nine attempts. Josh Mutshipule had 32 yards on four carries and Hale ran four times for 20 yards.
Jack Gladden passed for 149 yards, completing six of 11 attempts. Ramsey had two catches for 44 yards and Joseph Quinn, Avery Close, Nick Wade and Owen had one catch each. Quinn’s was a spectacular snag of a high pass, covering 36 yards. Franklin County held all-state wide out Viante Tucker catchless, although he was open behind the defense at one point but the ball was slightly overthrown.
On defense Austin Kirtner led Salem with four solo tackles and five assists. Bobby Pinello had seven combined tackles and Nick Anthony and Da’Jon Cardwell had seven tackles each, four of which were solos. Anthony also recovered a fumble and Owen had an interception.
Salem’s jayvees took a rare loss last week, falling to Franklin County 13-9 in Rocky Mount. The Spartans will make the long trip to Dinwiddie to play the Generals’ jayvee team on Wednesday of this week.
View original page