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2011: John’s Big Day Leads Salamanca to Upset of Southwestern

The last time it happened was 1996 under George Whitcher.

For the 15 years following, every time Salamanca and Southwestern played, the Trojans had the leg up and won - oftentimes in blowout fashion, including a combined 85-0 in two games last year.

Well, erase all that.

Salamanca, behind three combined touchdowns from quarterback Tanner John (two rushing, one passing), defeated Southwestern, 21-10, Friday night at Vet's Park.

"That's a great win, but we can't have a letdown," Salamanca coach Jason Marsh said, already looking ahead. "Now we move on and have to concentrate on Westfield."

Southwestern coach Jay Sirianni said, "We lost to a team that was better than us tonight. Salamanca has tough, hard-nosed kids and they played like it. They were tougher than us."

Marsh noted that this win comes as a team effort that was stressed all week by all the Warriors, who focused on getting this win more than anything.

"The kids really wanted that win badly," Marsh said. "They worked super hard this week, and they played great. The offensive line played great; they did what they had to do when they had to do it. When the plays were there to be made, we made them. When we have our opportunities, we have to make them. I couldn't be more proud of them tonight. They believe in themselves and they really worked together to win this football game."

John started the game off strong for Salamanca, rushing around right end for a 65-yard touchdown run just 54 seconds into the game. It was the second straight week the Warriors scored in the first minute, as last week Jevon Battle returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a score, leading to Salamanca's 20-6 win over Cattaraugus-Little Valley.

"That was huge play," Marsh said of John's early touchdown run. "It sets the tone and gets the momentum and motivating going."

Southwestern would connect on a field goal late in the first quarter, but the 6-3 Warrior margin stayed until the second half.

After the Trojans punted on their opening drive of the second half, the Warriors embarked on a 16-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a John 1-yard touchdown run. The drive took up nearly nine minutes of game time.

"That drive really showed the difference in how physical they were," Siranni said. "They are big, strong and a good football team, and they really took it to us. Hats off to them; they played an outstanding game. Defensively they did a really nice job and offensively they just controlled the ball and did what they wanted to do."

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