Warriors depth on display in 42-20 quarterfinal win
By SPENCER BATES Sports Editor, Salamanca Press
The offensive prowess of the Warriors was too much for the Golden Eagles to handle.
The No. 1S Salamanca football team (7-2) dropped the curtain on No. 4N Cleveland Hill’s (3-6) season after posting a 42-20 win in the Section 6 Class C quarterfinals.
From the jump, the Warriors were all over their visitors. Joshua Auman and Zachary Trietley were perfectly in sync with quarterback Jaxon Ross and cut through the Golden Eagle defense. Eventually, Trietley found the end zone to cap off a successful first drive.
The offense looked as good as ever despite the notable admissions from the lineup on the night. Auman was able to rush for 46 yards and a touchdown on the night and Trietley put together 57 rushing yards along with two touchdowns.
Usual starting quarterback Maddox Isaac, wide receiver Lucus Brown and tight end Tayoni Galante all didn’t see the field. Unfortunately for Galante, it looks as though he won’t see the field again this season after picking up another injury in his first game back a couple of weeks ago. However, depth has been something that coach Chad Bartoszek and the Warriors have had on their side this season. With a number of players available at each position, a few injuries doesn’t derail the entire gameplan.
“At Class C, every (player) needs at least two positions,” Bartoszek said. “Everyone has to know a little bit of both. But when everyone's here and we're healthy we've got a nice enough depth to withstand an injury or two. Once you start losing a few more, it starts to get a little more difficult.
But games like this, we're able to see some guys come in and … it's beneficial. It helps build the culture a little bit.”
Ross put together a special performance as he led the offense on the night with 12 completions on 15 attempts for 167 passing yards and 25 rushing yards. His number one target, Arlen Newark, had three receptions for 96 yards.
“Jaxon’s got a presence and he's very good in the pocket,” Bartoszek said. “He's comfortable, he's getting the passing game (going). (He’s) just trying to develop throwing the ball inside the pocket and was very efficient tonight.”
The Warriors found the end zone once more in the opening quarter off of a 16-yard passing play from Ross to Newark and there were no signs of slowing down from the Warriors after that.
Auman was the first Warrior to score in the second quarter after a one-yard punch-in. Cleveland Hill gained some momentum after the score but any spark was snuffed out by a Cameron McGraw interception for Salamanca. The final touchdown of the first half was brought in by Trietley off of a direct snap, a play that has given Salamanca a great deal of success in the last few weeks.
“It's something we've had,” Bartoszek said. “Some of it's just mentality. We're going to come at you, we're going to get those extra two or three yards. Sometimes when you add the extra blocker, that's all it takes.”
After suffering a first half shutout, Cleveland Hill put its first points up on the board. Douglas Hunt, who finished the night with all three of the Golden Eagles touchdowns and 144 rushing yards, found the end zone from three yards out. The Warriors responded fast and scored the next two. The first was a rush from Quinten Brown, who finished the night with 44 rushing yards, off a direct snap from 10 yards out. The second, a one-yard scamper off the pitch for Jesse Hill.
Hunt scored twice more in the dying minutes of the game, but to no avail as the Warriors secured their place in the semifinals.
Of the game in its entirety, Bartoszek focused on the level of execution from his squad. With little mental mistakes the result spoke to the team’s ability to buckle down and get the win.
“We executed much, much better and I know the score shows the result, but we were pretty efficient,” he said. “We didn't have a lot of mental mistakes (and) didn't see a lot of breakdowns. Penalties and turnovers were good. I'm proud and I'm happy that we stepped up.”
The last two games for the Salamanca have each kept fans on the edge of their seats. A 14-7 win over Southwestern in overtime and an 8-7 win over Portville/Cuba-Rushford rounded off its regular season. Now, with a more sizable win, Bartoszek admitted it felt good to put some distance between them and their opponents.
“You want to execute the same way, week-to-week and it doesn't always result in points even in games like this,” he said. “That's what we're here to do is score offensively and hold them defensively. I am happy that we were able to get up a little bit.”
Now, the Warriors face a true test next Friday as they will face Portville in a rematch of the final game of the regular season that resulted in many talking points from both sides.
Cleve Hill 0 0 6 14 — 20
Salamanca 14 14 7 7 — 42
Salamanca - Zachary Trietley 2 run; Arlen Newark kick good, 7-0
Salamanca - Jaxon Ross 16 pass to Newark; Newark kick good, 14-0
Salamanca - Joshua Auman 1 run; Newark kick good, 21-0
Salamanca - Trietley 2 run; Newark kick good, 28-0
Cleveland Hill - Douglas Hunt 3 run; 2-pt run no good, 28-6
Salamanca - Quinten Brown 10 run; Newark kick good, 35-6
Salamanca - Jesse Hill 1 run; Newark kick good, 42-6
Cleveland Hill - Hunt 1 run; 2-pt run good, 42-14
Cleveland Hill - Hunt 3 run; 2-pt run no good, 42-20
First Downs 9 20
Rushes-Yards 29-235 36-223
Passing Yards 20 167
Comp-Att.-Int. 2-7-1 12-15-0
Total Offense 255 390
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-15 4-25
Punts-Avg. 3-14.3 1-28
Total Plays 39 52