Warriors shut out SC/F to clinch league title, No. 3 playoff seed
Sam Wilson, Salamanca Press
After celebrating its seniors Friday night, the Salamanca football team had much more to celebrate later on.
The Warriors clinched their first league championship since 2012 by defeating Silver Creek/Forestville, 40-0. Winning the C South division and its top playoff seed by tiebreaker over Southwestern and Fredonia, the Warriors will have the No. 3 seed in the Section 6 Class C playoffs, hosting a quarterfinal next week.
“It's a great night,” SHS coach Chad Bartoszek said. “I'm very proud of this group because it's our first league title in 10 years, I believe, so we're taking that as a point of pride and accomplishment and we used that as motivation over the last few weeks. Tonight's a night to enjoy it and be proud of it. But as I said (before the game), our year-long goal and objective has been to get the home playoff game, win that and give ourselves a chance to play at The Ralph.”
Senior tailback Jesse Stahlman led the Warriors with 118 rushing yards and two touchdowns on six carries. Arlen Newark had two touchdowns, one rushing (21 yards) and one receiving (31 yards) from quarterback Jaxson Ross, who also ran for a touchdown while playing in relief of starter Maddox Isaac.
“Jaxson is one of our best athletes,” Bartoszek said. “He is a very capable quarterback and football player. He's someone who's getting back into the swing of things with football and he's very capable. Maddox started the game but we wanted to make sure that we got Jaxson some valuable reps. We tried to last week (at Eden) but that game just kind of flew by pretty quick, so we wanted to get Jaxson some meaningful reps. He's going to be a big part of what we do moving forward offensively and defensively.”
JT Auman tallied a rushing touchdown for the Warriors.
Leading 14-0 after the first quarter, Salamanca scored four times in the second quarter to take a 40-0 lead at halftime before a scoreless second half. Salamanca outgained the Black Knights 257-104 in total yards.
Jaxon Tarr made a team-high 4.5 tackles, including two tackles for loss. Tayoni Galante had an interception and 1.5 tackles for loss and Cory Holleran grabbed a pick and made .5 tackles for loss.
After a Week 5 loss, 15-10, at Southwestern, Salamanca (6-2, 4-1) closed the regular season with a three-game win streak, scoring 40 or more points in all three games. Friday was Salamanca’s first shutout this season, though the Warriors had held opponents to one touchdown three times and two touchdowns twice.
“We have been physical when we had to be to start this year, you start with teams like Randolph and Cleve Hill, Fredonia, Allegany-Limestone,” Bartoszek said. “You've got to match that physicality. The one thing we've developed over the course of the year and more so recently is just the big play ability, the capability to score on any given drive. So that's dangerous, that's something that teams are going to have to gameplan for and it makes calling an offense fun and exciting. But it's one of those things that needs to be in sync to be effective. So as much as we would like to just be one-dimensional and overpower teams, we're just not that team this year so we're going to have to be sound and efficient offensively.
“Then throughout the course of the year defensively we have just been phenomenal. Our team is flying, they're all over the field and that physicality has been there. Defensively we've been very sound.”
SC/F 0 0 0 0 — 0
Sala. 14 26 0 0 — 40
Salamanca — Arlen Newark 21 run; Newark kick, 7-0
Salamanca — Jesse Stahlman 5 run; Newark kick, 14-0
Salamanca — Jaxson Ross 4 run; kick blocked, 20-14
Salamanca — Stahlman 18 run; Newark kick, 27-0
Salamanca — Newark 31 pass from Ross; Newark kick, 34-0
Salamanca — JT Aumun 2 run; kick blocked, 40-0
First Downs 6 15
Rushes-Yards 16-13 28-180
Passing Yards 91 77
Comp-Att-Int 9-22-2 5-7-0
Total Offense 104 257
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-0
Penalties-Yards 6-45 4-40
Punts-Avg 2-29.5 1-18
Total Plays 38 35