2014: Salamanca Stuffs Southwestern's Comeback Attempt
With just over two minute remaining, Southwestern came within 10 yards of fully erasing a 20-0 halftime deficit.
But on a 4th and 1, Warriors defensive lineman Brad Cunningham snagged Trojans quarterback Noah Weinstein inches shy of the first-down marker on a keeper.
The play gave Salamanca enough breathing room to escape homecoming night with a 20-14 over Southwestern, improving to 4-1.
“Brad put himself in a good position to make that play,” Warriors coach Jason Marsh said. “He’s been improving on that all year, getting in the right spot and getting upfield and being places where he can make plays. I thought Brad played a great game tonight.”
Rather than dwelling on how Southwestern nearly made the 20-point comeback, Marsh commended his team for stopping the Trojans in time.
“I’m encouraged with how they stuck together,” Marsh said. “It was a tale of two halves and Southwestern had our backs to the wall. They had all the momentum and once again, two weeks in a row, our kids stuck together and made plays when they needed to.”
After the late turnover on downs, Southwestern got another shot with the ball, but defensive back Sean Greene intercepted Weinstein to clinch the win.
James Nye also intercepted Weinstein in the first half, returning the missed pass 26 yards.
“Jimmie’s a great athlete and we can stick him out there anytime,” Marsh said of Nye, who has also seen limited work at quarterback. “He had a nice little return. He’s a true athlete.”
Salamanca built its lead behind the running attack of Tadd Beattie (10 carries for 66 yards) and Tyler Siperek (12 carries for 54 yards) and quarterback Jared Fish’s arm.
Fish completed six of his 11 passing attempts for 134 yards, including a 24-yard score to Joe Hinman.
“I think Jared played a great game,” Marsh said. “I think he read our option really well and he threw some really great deep balls to Joey Hinman.”
Fish also hit Hinman for a 34-yard gain, setting up an eventual running score for Siperek.
“It looked like their corners had their eyes in our backfield instead of on our receivers, so we thought we’d take a couple shots at them and it paid off,” Marsh noted.
Along with Fish and Hinman, Marsh credited improved pass blocking with the expanded passing game, but the Warriors only attempted two passes after halftime.
“In the second half, we just couldn’t get our wheels underneath us and we didn’t have great field position most of the half,” Marsh said. “When you don’t have that, it can take away some of your playbook and we tend to play more conservatively when we’ve got a lead.”
Fish also had 57 rushing yards.
Hunter Peterson carried the ball 14 times for 71 yards to lead Southwestern, and Nick Swanson had 63 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.