Prep Football: Salisbury 46, East Rowan 10
By Paul Hershey
GRANITE QUARRY ó Salisbury’s defense had to be more tired than the Hornets’ offense at halftime Friday night.
Normally that’s not a good sign, but it wasn’t a problem in this case.
Salisbury ran just 12 offensive plays in the first two quarters against host East Rowan, but scored 17 points and led by two touchdowns before pulling away to a 46-10 rout.
“Our kids have a lot of pride and I think last week really hurt them,” Salisbury head coach Joe Pinyan said.
“Our people wanted to know if we had enough character to bounce back after not playing up to par. I thought our kids responded well.”
Junior standout Romar Morris wasted no time in responding, running for a 56-yard touchdown on the Hornets’ first offensive play of the game.
“I saw a big crease and I just ran,” said Morris, who finished with 184 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries. “We had perfect blocking up front. Last week was tough. But this we bounced back real hard.”
Morris’ burst was the only offensive play the Hornets (1-1) had in the first quarter.
“(After that) we really wanted to come back and establish the fullback, but we never got a chance in the first half,” Pinyan said.
East’s ball control was a big reason for that. East put together a 15-play drive, capped by a 24-yard field goal by Andrew May to make it 7-3.The Mustangs then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and got a 32-yard reception by Preston Troutman.
But the Hornets dodged a bullet when Dominique Phillips intercepted a pass in the end zone off a ricochet on the second play of the second quarter.
Salisbury then added to the lead when quarterback John Knox found a wide-open Riley Gallagher down the middle for a 45-yard touchdown. It was Salisbury’s only pass reception of the game and Gallagher’s second touchdown of the season ó on just two catches.
“We were kidding (Gallagher) after the game,” Pinyan said. “He only catches touchdowns is what he told me.”
Salisbury recovered a fumble on East’s next offensive play and converted it into a 28-yard field goal by David Simons to make it 17-3.
East then went back to its ball-control offense and mounted a 16-play drive to end the first half. But again, it missed an opportunity.
An interference penalty gave the Mustangs first-and-goal at the Salisbury 4 with four seconds left, but Chris Moore was stopped at the 1 on a run to the left side as time ran out.
The Mustangs (1-1) ran 39 offensive plays in the first half and had three trips inside the Salisbury 10, but managed only three points.
“We had the ball inside the 5 twice and shot ourselves in the foot,” East coach Brian Hinson said.
“It is deflating because we should’ve had at least 17 points at half, if not 21.”
More deflation for the Mustangs came on the first scrimmage play of the second half when Morris bolted for a 67-yard touchdown up the middle.
“They did a good job of (ball-control) in the first half,” Pinyan said. “Then we got that big play to start the second half and I saw the wind come out of their sails right there.”
Chris Bruce added a 35-yard fumble return for a touchdown, Ike Whitaker contributed a 1-yard run and Dominique Dismuke a 15-yard run for the Hornets’ other scores.
Logan Arey scored East’s lone touchdown on a 7-yard run. Moore had a strong game on the ground for the Mustangs, rushing for 111 yards on 19 carries.