Quakers get one more chance to shine at home
SALEM — The 39th annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Football Classic will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday at Reilly Stadium and for two members of team Ohio it means a chance to be able to play at home one more time.
Salem’s Mitch Davidson and Zach Bezon will be suiting up at Reilly Stadium one more time, a thought the two never fathomed before learning the location of the game.
“This is a such a great feeling,” Davidson said. “I remember talking to Bezon after the West Branch game thinking this is the last time we get to play at Reilly Stadium. It’s nice to have one more time to play on our home turf.”
“We’ve had so many great memories playing at Reilly Stadium,” Bezon said. “It’s great to be able to do it one more time and have one last memory. Not many people get to play on their home field again after the last game senior year.”
The Quakers picked up a must-have victory in a big way 48-8 over the rival Warriors in week 10 of the 2017 season. Salem finished 7-3 and lost to Steubenville 49-14 in the first round of the Div. IV playoffs.
This is the first time Salem is hosting the Classic since 2004.
At the helm for the Quakers this season Davidson completed 175 of 321 passes (54.5 percent) for a school-record 2,371 yards and 32 touchdowns. He made second team All-Ohio as a punter where he averaged 38.1 yards on 36 punts, including 13 inside the 20-yard line.
Bezon who will play defensive back for team Ohio finished the year with 5 interceptions and a sack for the Quakers in 2017.
The two anticipate the chance of playing against a talented Pennsylvania squad on their home field.
“It being our house and Pennsylvania coming to us definitely gives us an edge,” Davidson said. “This is exciting not only for us, but for the town of Salem. This is one of the longest running all star games in the area and it is awesome that our hometown gets to host it.”
The game has given the opportunity for the pair to play with other local stars that used to be opponents. A particularly interesting duo at quarterbacks for team Ohio has rivals in Davidson and West Branch’s T.J. DeShields sharing time at the position. “We are always going to have that rivalry but it’s great to be able to be teammates for once,” Davidson said. “It’s cool knowing how he sees things and how I see things. It’s been great talking different looks.”
The game is an opportunity for the Quaker duo to have one last chance at Reilly Stadium before Davidson has the chance to walk on the Youngstown State football team and Bezon is attending the University of Akron.
“I’m excited for the future but excited for one last opportunity to play in Salem,” Bezon said.
–Salem hasn’t been a kind ground for team Ohio as they have an all time record of 1-4 at Reilly Stadium. The team’s lone win came in 1992 with a 14-7 win over Pennsylvania.