CARROLLTON Salem's final road game of the season was so close, yet so far from victory on Friday.
Salem's defense pushed Carrollton to the limit, but the effort still was not enough as the Warriors knocked off the Quakers 28-19 at Community Field.
"There were things we did really well," Carrollton coach Eric McCort said. "There are some things we need to improve as we move on."
Carrollton (4-4, 2-3 in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference) relied on the running game with quarterback Zade Deitz who had a 10-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. When Deitz couldn't find openings, he connected with either running back Tyler Dodd or wide receiver Adam Warner.
McCort also felt that the three field goals from Daniel Leary made a difference.
"I really thought our kicking game was really good," McCort said. "That, I think, was the margin of victory for us."
The Warriors defense also applied pressure to the Quakers including a sack on Salem's sophomore quarterback Matthew Weingart by Adam Warner in the third quarter, two fumble recoveries and then an interception by defensive back Lane Hartong.
Warner, who had 48 yards in his five catches, was happy for his team.
"We're coming back being refocused after the game before West Branch," Warner said. "We've started our season back around."
Compared to recent weeks, it was a lot closer, and a lot better of a game for the Quakers (2-6, 0-5) according to Salem coach Ron Johnson.
"They tackled with intensity," Johnson said. "They played with total disregard of their bodies, throwing them around and that's what it takes to be a great football team, and we showed that tonight."
The defense of Salem showed improvement, holding the Warriors to only 18 points in the first half - a big difference from the past few games.
As the first half closed, Weingart passed to wide receiver Blake Hochadel, but a lateral pass from Hochadel to wide receiver Marcus Crittenden resulted in a touchdown.
Weingart, who also ran for 10 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, appeared a little more conservative with his passing than in recent weeks, but Johnson says that it's the team that calls the plays.
"He hasn't thrown the ball because we didn't call him to throw the ball," Johnson said. "We wanted to shorten his game with those big backs in the field."
Another problem was their fumbles - five of them - with two recovered by the Warriors.
"It's the first time we've put the ball in the ground," Johnson said. "We haven't done that all year, and we lost two tonight."
Weingart had better accuracy but not as much yardage this week as he went 13 for 21 passing for 156 yards. Deitz was 14 for 26 for 174 yards and rushed for 52 yards in his 16 carries.
Dodd led the Warriors with 93 yards in 13 carries. Haeden Panezott led the Quakers with 53 rushing yards in 15 carries while Mike Popa went 38 yards in his three catches.
Both teams are home next week. Carrollton plays Marlington next Friday in the Warriors' final home game of 2013. The Quakers host Canton South next Friday.
The game ended a three-game streak of sixty-plus-point surrenders by the Quakers, and is their closest game since their third week loss to East Liverpool.
Salem is still the only winless team in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference league standings and just one of two NBC teams to not win on the road in 2013 with the other being West Branch.
C - Daniel Leary 25 field goal
C - Zade Deitz 10 run (kick failed)
C - Daniel Leary 31 field goal
C - Lynk Tranter 30 run (conversion failed)
S - Marcus Crittenden 21 pass from Blake Hochadel (conversion failed)
S - Matthew Weingart 9 run (Jarrod Carner kick)
C - Adam Warner 5 pass from Zade Dietz (Daniel Leary kick)
C - Daniel Leary 32 field goal
S - Dan Rumsey 8 pass from Matthew Weingart (conversion failed)
First downs 1021
Total Yards 231401
RUSHING-Salem, Haedan Panezott 15-53, Marcus Crittenden 3-17, Matthew Weingart 6-5; Carrollton, Tyler Dodd 13-93, Zade Deitz 16-52, Zach Allen 8-32, Brody Robinson 4-18, Lynk Tranter 1-30, Adam Warner 2-2.
PASSING-Salem, Matthew Weingart 13-21-156-1; Carrollton, Zade Deitz 14-26-174-0
RECEIVING-Salem, Max Wolfgang 2-23, Mike Popa 3-38, Haedan Panezott 2-25, Dan Rumsey 2-21, Marcus Crittenden 2-14, Blake Hochadel 1-21; Carrollton, Adam Warner 5-48, Brandon Johnson 4-29, Caleb Pasuik 2-25, Zach Allen 1-23, Tyler Dodd 1-19, Lynk Trantor 1-30.
INTERCEPTIONS- Carrollton, Lane Hartong
FUMBLE RECOVERIES-Carrollton, Breton Miller, Teague Malone