Salem took a 56-42 win over PH in a River Ridge District game. It was a game where you expected Salem was going to win, but you couldn’t be certain because every time the Spartans opened a lead the Patriots would hit a big play.
“That’s not Salem High football,” said Spartan coach Stephen Magenbauer. “That’s not what we believe in. We believe in defense and that’s why we’ve been so successful.”
Salem was missing linebacker Bobby Pinello with an injury but Magenbauer wasn’t using that as an excuse for giving up 373 passing yards with a senior laden defensive backfield.
“We need to get our confidence back, from the secondary on up,” he said. “We’re still a work in progress. They had a quarterback who can throw it out there and we had too many blown assignments and missed tackles.”
The good news is, Salem also had plenty of big plays on offense. The Spartans rushed for 379 yards as a team and passed for 181 for a grand total of 560 offensive yards. And, they pretty much needed every one.
The Spartans led 28-21 at the half. They drew first blood on an 18 yard run by Luke Owen just three and a half minutes into the game. After an exchange of punts PH tied it on a 33 yard run.
Salem then fumbled the ball back to the Patriots and a 43 yard pass play gave Patrick Henry a 14-7 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Spartans came right back and tied the game with 1:04 left in the quarter, 14-14. Quarterback Jack Gladden found Joseph Quinn free down the right sideline and Quinn juked a PH defender to the ground before taking it in for a 41yard play.
The Spartans got the lead back in the second quarter on a 12 yard TD pass from Gladden to Van Richardson, but a minute and 10 seconds later PH hit a 69 yard scoring pass play to tie it again. De’Angelo Ramsey then scored with just under three minutes left in the half to give the Spartans a 28-21 lead, diving for the pylon to complete a five yard run.
It was more of the same in the third quarter. After a Salem fumble the Patriots hit a 71 yard bomb to make it 28-28. The Spartans then went on a run, scoring three in a row on a pass to Viante Tucker, a plunge by Tae Hale and a 47 yard run by Owen to make it 49-28 with 1:59 left in the third quarter.
Any other time you’d think the game was over at that point, especially in a Salem game. However, PH would cut it to 49-35 on a 42 yard run. Owen scored again to make it 56-35 but the Patriots had one final salvo, hitting a 78 yard TD pass in the waning minutes.
“The good thing is, our offense got better,” said Magenbauer. “We dominated the line of scrimmage and we moved the ball well.”
Owen finished with 208 yards rushing on 22 carries and three touchdowns. Ramsey had 102 yards on 18 carries, Hale had 39 on nine and Richardson rushed for 36 yards.
Gladden was nine of 12 passing for 181 yards. Tucker led the receivers with four catches for 72 yards while Quinn had two catches for 53. Hale had one catch for 35 yards and Richardson and Nathan Delby had one reception each.
On defense Austin Kirtner had nine tackles to lead the team. Nick Wade had six and Quinn and Avery Close had four each. Quinn had two tackles for losses.
The win lifted Salem to 5-2 and the Spartans have a bye this week. It might be a good time.
“We have a lot to work on,” said Magenbauer. “We’re still trying to put it all together.”
The jayvees beat Patrick Henry, 34-0, to improve to 6-1. The jayvees are also off this week.
View original page