Prep Football: Salisbury 49, East Davidson 7
By Nick Bowton
Fullback Isaiah Whitaker took Salisbury’s first play from scrimmage 57 yards Friday night. Running back A.J. Ford scored on the next play, and running back Dario Hamilton scored on the next drive.
On a night when Hamilton set the school career rushing record, all three backs excelled as Salisbury cruised past East Davidson 49-7. Each of the Hornets’ starting backs topped 100 yards rushing, and they combined to average 12.5 yards per carry.
“In the last two games we tried to be wide open in our offense and do a lot of things to get it on film, get our opponents to see it and have to prepare for those things,” Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan said. “Tonight we focused on we want to come in here and run the trap, run every option we’ve got and make sure people see it on film. We did a great job doing all those things.
“We played a good bit of power football, and we were successful with the finesse game a little bit. Maybe not as successful as I wanted to be with the option, but the power game, I thought, we were real good at.”
East Davidson coach Brian Lingerfelt would agree with that.
The Golden Eagles (0-6, 0-2 CCC) never found a way to slow Salisbury, as the Hornets (6-0, 2-0) finished with 440 yards rushing four days after posting 478 against Central Davidson.
East Davidson countered with running backs Dylan Gallimore and Loyd Tabernero, who combined for 112 yards on 32 carries, but two first-half fumbles left the Golden Eagles in a 28-0 hole at halftime.
“Salisbury’s a good team,” Lingerfelt said. “They got the all-time leading rusher right there playing for them and the Ford kid too. And the fullback ain’t half bad. It’s just a tough offense for people to match up with.
“They’re so explosive.”
Even the backups.
When Pinyan pulled his entire backfield for the fourth quarter, the Hornets still rushed eight times for 65 yards. Whitaker finished with a career-high 133 yards, with 108 of them coming on two carries. Hamilton added 109 yards and Ford 107.
Ford also scored three touchdowns and has a team-high nine on the season, while Whitaker scored twice and Hamilton once.
“It was a big night for Dario,” Pinyan said. “I know he’d have liked to score more touchdowns and maybe got a few more yards, but they also understand we gotta put the brakes on somewhere as best as we can. We don’t put it on much; we just slow down a little bit. Our jayvee guys are just as dangerous.”
As he’s gotten closer to breaking Tyris Davidson’s career mark of 3,107 yards the past couple of weeks, Hamilton has maintained that he wasn’t focusing on the record and didn’t care when or if it came.
The last player to leave the field Friday night, he finally got to enjoy the accomplishment a little. Hamilton now has 3,136 yards over a four-year varsity career.
“It feels good,” he said. “It feels good right now. I’m glad it came tonight because we all were doing well and because, you know, we’re at home. In front of our fans.
“So I knew I had support. I’m glad it happened.”
NOTES: Salisbury’s final touchdown came on a fourth-quarter fumble recovery by offensive lineman Tommy Coggin. On a first-and-goal from the 2, the Hornets fumbled the ball at the goal line, and Coggin pounced on it to keep Salisbury turnover-free. … Former Salisbury standout and East Carolina defensive end Scotty Robinson attended the game. The Pirates have a bye this week.