Much like the week prior, this one was over early. Salem led 28-0 after the first quarter and 42-7 by the half. The clock ran continuously after intermission and the second half wasn’t much longer than the halftime band performance.
De’Angelo Ramsey, carrying an extra load with fellow tailback Luke Owen out for the season, scored three of the first quarter touchdowns on runs of 71 and 28 yards and a pass reception for 63 yards. He added a second quarter TD run of 57 yards and finished with 201 rushing yards on just seven carries. He also had two receptions for 72 yards, giving him 273 yards of total offense on nine touches, an average of over 30 yards for every time he had the ball in his hands.
Viante Tucker scored the other first quarter touchdown on an end-around, taking it 29 yards for the score. Sam Sumpter scored his first high school touchdown on a four yard pass from Jack Gladden just before the half, and Nate Craft added a 26 yard field goal in the third quarter for the only points of the second half.
“I was proud of how hard we played,” said Salem coach Stephen Magenbauer.
Gladden threw 12 passes, completing six for 103 yards. Ramsey had two receptions and Sumpter, Joseph Quinn, Nick Wade and James Newby had one catch each.
Newby also had 38 yards rushing, Tucker had 29 and four other Spartans combined for 32 yards with Owen on the sidelines on crutches. A captain and versatile senior, Luke was diagnosed with a torn ACL and will be lost for the season. He’ll be hard to replace.
“It’s a big loss, and we’re all upset for him,” said Magenbauer. “He played so many different positions, and he’s a captain.”
This week the Spartans will wrap up the regular season with a trip to Pulaski County. The Cougars have lost their last two games, to Blacksburg and Patrick Henry, and have dropped to ninth place in the Region D rankings in Group 4A. The top eight make the playoffs and Jefferson Forest sits in eighth with a game against Heritage this week. The Cougars would have to beat Salem and hope Heritage beats Jefferson Forest to have a chance at the playoffs, and even then it would be close.
Salem is fourth in the standings and the Spartans can clinch a first round home game with a win. Blacksburg is in first place, setting up a possible Salem-Blacksburg rematch for the second round of the playoffs, but a lot can happen until then. If all the favorites win this week Salem would host Byrd next Friday to open the playoffs. And tomorrow, Pulaski is no walk-over.
“We’ll need to play well to win this Friday,” said Magenbauer. “This is a rivalry game and we have to go down there. It’s going to be a tough game.”
The Spartan jayvees will host Pulaski County at Salem Stadium tonight. Both teams are 8-1 after Salem’s junior varsity won at Hidden Valley last week, 33-20.
View original page