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Salem collects 5th win in big way

Salem’s Trenton McCoy goes for a tackle on Minerva’s Erik Murray on Friday at Sebo Stadium. Also in on the play are Salem’s Ross Davidson (14) and Marcus Phillips (42). (Photo by Gary Leininger)

SALEM — To say that Salem football wanted to get back in the win column after a disappointing loss last week is a bit of an understatement.

The Quakers (5-1) came in like a wrecking ball against Minerva (0-6) and rolled to a 66-0 victory on Friday night.

Salem scored five touchdowns in the first six minutes and 28 seconds of play.

Jackson Johnson tossed a total of six touchdowns with four of them coming in the opening half. He also rushed for a 47-yard and 24-yard touchdown in the first few minutes of the contest.

Blaize Exline added a pair of receiving touchdowns to his resume and he also ran for a score. Fellow receiver Caden Swiger caught three of Johnson’s passing scores.

After losing 27-21 in OT last week to Alliance, it was important for the Quakers to get back on the field and show their dominance once again.

“I feel like after last week, we definitely had a bad taste in our mouth. So, we came out and put the pedal down,” Salem offensive guard Griffin Panezott said. “We need to win all our conference games. But, obviously in the greater view is a state championship.”

Exline said beating Minerva can help build new momentum with just four weeks left in the regular season.

“It’s builds confidence for us and it helps us practice better,” the senior receiver said. “It also keeps the games moving quickly.”

Minerva was able to put some pressure on Johnson early in the game, but the Salem o-line quickly recovered.

“Our offensive line is really strong. They did have a couple blitzes where they blitzed effectively. We had to make a play and adjust to that,” Panezott noted.

The Lions did commit six turnovers, including two passes that were snatched out of the air by Quaker defender Ross Davidson.

With Salem scoring at will and its defense making big plays, it makes them more of a threat come playoff time, which is a little over a month away.

“Our guys took it upon themselves to come out and try to play the perfect game,” Salem coach Ron Johnson said. “We executed well. We made good checks at the line and got out of some things and got into some better plays. Everybody was on the same page.”

He added that it was important to get contributions from all of his Salem players.

“Every single human on our team played and played extensively. They played on both sides of the ball,” Johnson said. “The young guys were able to take the victory formation, which is the coolest thing in football.

Next week, Salem will face another Northeastern Buckeye foe in Marlington. Meanwhile, Minerva will host unbeaten Ravenna Southeast.

Game notes

• Salem has beaten Minerva seven straight times dating back to 2015.

• The Lions have scored seven points or fewer in all of their games this year.

• The Quakers didn’t start the Minerva game in the best fashion. Salem’s first offensive play was a false start with the second play being a fumble which was recovered by the victors.

• Salem held its homecoming festivities on Friday.

MINERVA: 0-0- 0-0–0

SALEM: 49-7-7-3–66

SCORING

S–Jackson Johnson 47 run (Hayden Tomidajewicz kick)

S–Johnson 25 pass to Blaize Exline (Tomidajewicz kick)

S–ohnson 24 run (Tomidajewicz kick)

S–Johnson 20 pass to Exline (Tomidajewicz kick)

S–Johnson 39 pass to Caden Swiger (Tomidajewicz kick)

S–Exline 6 run (Tomidajewicz kick)

S–Johnson 68 pass to Austin Sinkovich (Tomidajewicz kick)

S–Johnson 40 pass to Swiger (Tomidajewicz kick)

S–Johnson 3 pass to Swiger (Tomidajewicz kick)

S–Tomidajewicz 23 field goal

——

M S

First downs 5 17

Total Yards 110 501

Rushes-yards 11-2 33-274

Passing 108 227

Comp-Att-Int 10-23-3 11-14-0

Punts-Yards-Avg. 5-190-38 2-70-35

Fumbles-Lost 3-3 2-1

Penalties-Yards 2-25 2-15

——

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING–Minerva, Brayden Costea 3-8, Erik Murray 4-0, Dylan Phillips 2-(minus 1), Elijah Miller 1(0), Dre Fears 1-(minus 5); Salem, Jackson Johnson 12-132, 2TD, Dominic Maniscalco 4-27, Owen Jason Austin 7-83, Exline 3-8, TD.

PASSING–Minerva, Costea 10-23-3; Salem, Jackson Johnson 11-14-0, 6TD.

RECEIVING–Minerva, Murray 4-40, Phillips 4-18, Nolan Kibler 2-65, Fears 1-2 ; Salem, Exline 2-45, 2TD, Caden Swiger 5-103, 3TD, Austin Sinkovich 2-74, TD, Brock Young 1-5.

INTERCEPTIONS– Salem, Ross Davidson 2, Cam Jaquette.

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