Big plays spark Salamanca to 48-15 win at Eden/North Collins
Sam Wilson, Salamanca Press
EDEN — Blink and you might have missed a big play in the first half of the Salamanca football team’s trip to play Eden/North Collins in a non-league game.
Salamanca struck early, scoring twice in the first two minutes thanks to an Eden kick return fumble after the Warriors’ first touchdown.
But the scoring was just getting started: Eden cut the lead to 14-7 with a kickoff return touchdown, but the Warriors scored four more times in the first half for a 42-7 halftime lead en route to a 48-15 victory. “That was about as quick of three scores that I've ever been a part of,” SHS coach Chad Bartoszek said. “Our defense wasn't on the field for most of the first quarter and offensively we were just executing at a very high level. We were fast and physical. We were blocking up front and our guys were just flying. It was a great opening first quarter, half and it was good for our guys to experience a little bit of that explosiveness that I think is going to be valuable for us moving forward.”
Jason McGraw and Arlen Newark scored two touchdowns each, one on offense and one on special teams for both to lead Salamanca (5-2).
Salamanca quarterback Maddox Isaac went 4-for-5 passing for 65 yards and two touchdowns — to Newark and Carmine Hoag — and also scored a rushing touchdown.
McGraw had one carry, a double-reverse handoff, for a 48-yard touchdown and also scored on a 64-yard punt return. Newark made a 24-yard touchdown catch and returned a second-half kickoff for a 91-yard score. Jesse Stahlman tallied 76 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown, on seven carries. Bartoszek envisioned this offense as one deep with weapons and it showed on Friday as five different players combined to score seven touchdowns. That depth of skill position players helped lessen the load on Stahlman, the Warriors’ dependable workhorse running back.
“That's something we've talked about after Southwestern,” Bartoszek said. “We cannot become predictable. We've got to utilize who we have. It's easy to become a certain type of offense when you've got a horse in Jesse Stahlman that you just want to give it to. We still have him as a valuable option, but for us to open up our offense and become whole, we've got to be able to utilize all of our weapons and that's actually going to make life easier up inside running the ball as well.
“It was definitely a blueprint to what we want to do and we want to carry that over next week against Silver Creek in our Senior Night, see if we can finish off this league schedule with a big win.”
Takota Armstrong led the Salamanca defense with five tackles. Cory Holleran, J.T. Aumun and Jaxon Tarr each had a tackle for loss. Sam Tambacas led Eden (3-4) with 46 rushing yards and a touchdown on six carries. Brendon O'Donnell returned the first-quarter kickoff for an 83-yard touchdown.
“We were very explosive early and physical and it was a real clean performance for us,” Bartoszek said. “It was good to get our second group in there in the second half and get some good film on them. All in all it was a good trip and one of the faster games I've ever been a part of, but that's a good thing.”