Salem fumbled six times, losing three, but came within a fourth down stop of beating the Generals again. The Spartans beat Dinwiddie in the state Group 4A final last year, and a huge crowd turned out to watch a very entertaining rematch. This time Dinwiddie got out of town with a 25-20 win.
“We certainly didn’t play well,” said Magenbauer. “We had a lot of turnovers, we had some bad snaps and we committed some penalties at inopportune times.”
But, again, the Spartans could have easily won this game. They led 20-19 with 3:04 left in the game after De’Angelo Ramsey scored on a 10 yard run, hurdling a defender before bulling his way into the end zone to tie the game. Nate Craft’s extra point gave Salem the lead and at that point it was all up to the defense.
However, the Generals weren’t ready to roll over and die. Needing just a field goal to win, they worked their way to the Salem 37 with just over a minute on the clock. Facing a fourth down and six they had to go for it, as they were still out of field goal range even for a good high school kicker.
Dinwiddie quarterback K’ymon Pope, who had a big game, came up big. He found Josiah Williams over the middle, and the General receiver made a spectacular one-handed catch, broke a tackle and raced to the end zone for what proved to be the winning score.
“They ran a good route and he made a good catch,” said Magenbauer. “They executed it well.”
That left 1:10 on the clock, and Ramsey made it interesting on the ensuing kickoff. He broke several tackles and almost broke free, but fumbled in front of the Salem bench at about midfield and a General recovered. However, there was an inadvertent whistle during the play, and after a long discussion it was decided that Dinwiddie would have to kick it again. Ramsey had another decent return, but Salem’s offense couldn’t generate one more drive and the Generals held on for the win.
This was an entertaining game from start to finish. Dinwiddie struck first with a 21 yard field goal but Salem answered with a 28 yard TD pass from Jack Gladden to a wide open Luke Owen, who sprinted home to give Salem a 7-3 lead.
The Generals threatened as the first quarter wound down, but Joseph Quinn made a spectacular interception to stop the drive in the shadow of Salem’s goal line. Just a minute into the second quarter Salem fumbled it away, setting up a Pope one yard run as Dinwiddie regained the lead at 10-7.
Another Dinwiddie field goal made it 13-7. After an exchange of punts Salem drove to the one, where Tae Hale scored with 11 seconds before intermission and Craft’s extra gave the Spartans a 14-13 halftime lead.
Dinwiddie got the ball first in the second half and drove deep into Salem territory, where they faced a fourth and one at the Salem 12. The Generals went for it, but the Spartan defense came up big and stoned the drive, only to fumble it right back to Dinwiddie three minutes later on the 42. Salem forced a punt, but turned it over once more and this time their good fortune ran out as Pope scored on a 37 yard run to give Dinwiddie a 19-14 lead after three quarters.
Salem was stopped on the Spartans first drive of the fourth quarter and punted the ball back to the Generals, who put another good drive together. However, Salem forced a field goal attempt that would have made it a four point lead, only to have Nick Wade blow in from the corner and block the kick. That set up Ramsey’s go-ahead TD, but only after Ramsey had scored on a prior play that was negated by a penalty.
“They deserved to win the game,” said Magenbauer. “They’re talented, confident and coached well. They’re a good team.”
Salem was able to run the ball on the Generals, as Ramsey had 176 yards on 12 carries and Owen had 97 yards on 12 attempts. Gladden was 12 for 24 passing for 153 yards. Viante Tucker had six catches for 47 yards and Owen, Ramsey and Quinn had two receptions each.
On defense Bobby Pinello had nine tackles while Austin Kirtner, Avery Close and Wade had eight each. Quinn and Da’Jon Cardwell had six solos and an assist each.
Now 2-1, the Spartans will travel to Northside this week. The Vikings are 2-1 and coming off a 57-35 win over Hidden Valley last week. They have a new coach in Scott Fisher.
“They have some good size and they like to throw the ball,” said Magenbauer. “They’re running more different formations this year.”
This has been a great rivalry over the years.
“We’ve had some close games and some good battles,” said Magenbauer. “They’re close so there should be a good crowd, but we just need to get things back in order. We have to start playing better football, period.”
Salem’s jayvee team won big over Dinwiddie, 49-18. The jayvees will host the Vikings at Salem Stadium tonight.
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