The extent of Owen’s injury wasn’t known at press time. He was on crutches and scheduled to have an MRI on Wednesday.
“I can’t speculate, but I know he won’t play this week,” said Salem coach Stephen Magenbauer. “He had an x-ray and everything came back fine, there were no broken bones. We looked at the hit on film and it didn’t look that bad, but you never know. I’ve seen players get injured just running down the field.”
Owen is a key all-purpose player for the Spartans. He’s the starting tailback and cornerback and he’s one of the top kick returners in the area. He’s also a captain.
Sadly, Salem was going to win this game with or without Owen. The Spartans dominated from start to finish, leading 49-0 at halftime and owning the line of scrimmage. Salem ran for 318 yards on 36 carries even though Owen ran just three times for 37 yards before the injury.
De’Angelo Ramsey picked up the slack running the ball, gaining 149 yards on seven carries, an average of over 20 yards a try. He also had four touchdowns, including the first two on runs of 37 and 10 yards. He had TD runs of 31 and 45 yards in the second quarter and Tae Hale, Van Richardson and James Newby also ran for touchdowns.
Salem’s other touchdown came on a six yard interception return by senior Nick Anthony in the second quarter. The pass was batted in the air and Anthony caught it and ran the short distance to the end Zone.
Eight different Spartans got rushing attempts against the Knights. Salem only passed five times, completing three for 20 yards.
Defensively, Nick Wade led the Spartans with six tackles. Anthony, Sam Sumpter and Avery Close had interceptions.
“I thought we played a complete game in all three phases,” said Magenbauer. “It was a pretty clean football game. We didn’t give up any big plays and we didn’t have a lot of penalties. I was proud of our effort.”
This week the Spartans are back in Salem Stadium for their last regular season home game. Hidden Valley will be the opponent and the Titans aren’t having a much better year than Cave Spring. After starting 0-6 they got a win against winless Christiansburg on October 13. Last week they dropped to 1-7 with a 44-6 loss to Blacksburg.
“They have an excellent quarterback,” said Magenbauer of Hidden Valley’s Jonah Fitzgerald. “He’s a good passer and he can run the ball. He makes things happen.”
Fitzgerald passed for 226 yards and rushed for 94 despite the lopsided score last week.
“They’ve played a lot of teams tight,” said Magenbauer. “They lost to PH in overtime.”
Salem’s junior varsity team will play the Titans at Bogle Field tonight. The jayvees beat Cave Spring at Bogle last Thursday, 41-0.
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