Isaac-Galante connection sparks Warriors' win at Cleve Hill
Sam Wilson, Salamanca Press
The Salamanca football team appears to have found a valuable weapon for its young quarterback over the middle: junior tight end Tayoni Galante.
On an afternoon when Cleveland Hill focused heavily on slowing down Warriors tailback Jesse Stahlman, Salamanca found success through the air with sophomore Maddox Isaac connecting with Galante six times for 133 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Isaac’s 180-yard, three-touchdown day on 8-of-11 passing led Salamanca to a 34-8 non-league victory over the Golden Eagles, bouncing back to 1-1 after a loss to Randolph last week.
Salamanca had some near-misses on big plays in a scoreless first quarter, but strong together two touchdown drives in the second to take a 14-0 lead to halftime. Warriors coach Chad Bartoszek credited his team’s response to Cleveland Hill’s blitzing pass defense.
“They were coming. No. 3 (Larry Burgin) in the middle blitzing 8 gaps, it's just hard to block, it's hard to pick up every single time,” he said. “And you've got to be right every time, they've only got to be right every couple plays and you get a tackle for loss. So on our end, we wanted to come in and establish some physicality and it wasn't all there. We took some shots and they were there. There were spaces in the secondary. Our quarterback's capable. So Tayoni Galante is going to be a weapon for us, it was good to see.”
Arlen Newark had Salamanca’s two other catches for a total of 27 yards and a touchdown.
Stahlman, back in the lineup after an elbow injury forced him from last week’s Randolph game in the second half, still finished with a strong stat line: 20 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He started to find room for big plays, including a 34-yards touchdown run in the fourth quarter, in the second half.
“All eyes are on him throughout every game,” Bartoszek said. “There's an urge when you've got someone like him to just go, go, go, but the fact of the matter is when they've got eight, nine in the box we're going to have to throw the ball and that does open it up for him and he's a good closer for us. The third, fourth quarter, let's start getting him the ball and moving a little bit. He's just tough to deal with.”
The Warriors’ first win came at the cost of a valued lineman, junior Carson Mohr, who exited in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. Bartoszek’s postgame comments immediately turned to concern for Mohr.
“That was needed,” he said of the win. “(But) we lost Carson. His shoulder's been bugging him an