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Prep Football: Salisbury 41, Central Davidson 21

By Bret Strelow
bstrelow@salisburypost.com
With Salisbury holding a two-touchdown lead late in the first quarter, Central Davidson’s Kirk Brown fired a short pass to Brett Woodard.
Free safety Dejoun Jones made the tackle.
Jones is primarily a running back, but the sophomore served as a two-way starter in the Hornets’ 41-21 homecoming victory Friday night.
About 15 of coach Joe Pinyan’s players showed up late for pregame preparations, so they sat out the entire first quarter.
“Lesson well learned I hope,” Pinyan said. “We’re teaching more than football. We want them to be good people and do the right thing.
“We had some that were late getting here for the game, and I take full responsibility. Heck, I didn’t know if we’d have enough to play. We were trying to piece it together, and we have an offensive guy starting at safety.”
Jones and Dominique Dismuke had touchdown runs in the first 10 minutes for the Hornets, who took a 41-0 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Spartans abandoned their Wing-T offense after one series and scored three times in the final 10:28. Brown completed 25 passes for 299 yards, and Woodard finished with 10 catches for 130 yards.
“I’m not really a passing coach,” first-year Central coach Mark Hoover said. “I normally throw the ball about 10 times a game, but we were pretty outmanned up front. We started five freshmen. We’re young, and we knew it was going to be hard to run the football against an experienced and championship-caliber team.”
Starting quarterback John Knox and Romar Morris shared the field for only one offensive series, but Salisbury (5-3, 2-0 CCC) still managed to accumulate 329 rushing yards. Knox directed three scoring drives and departed with a hip injury in the second quarter.
The Hornets opened the game with a nine-play, 76-yard march that ended on Dismuke’s 26-yard TD. Kiontae Rankin recovered a fumble on the fourth play of Central’s second possession, and Jones scored on a 13-yard carry.
Salisbury pulled ahead 22-0 following a 1-yard run by Dismuke, who is also a sophomore, midway through the second quarter. He totaled 58 yards on eight carries, and Jones had 42 yards on six runs.
“Dominique and Dejoun, they’re great running backs,” said fullback Ike Whitaker, who had 13 rushes for 69 yards and one TD. “They stepped up when they needed to, and we’re proud of them for that.”
Morris touched the ball for the first time with nine minutes left in the first half and gained 65 yards to the Central 19 on his second carry. He ended up with 124 yards on 10 attempts.
Knox stayed on the sideline to ice his hip when the Hornets regained possession with 4:30 left in the half, and tight end Riley Gallagher took over under center. Central (3-5, 0-2) made a fourth-down stop near midfield with 1:09 left and reached Salisbury’s 1 with 24 seconds showing. The Spartans were out of timeouts and spiked the ball on first down.
The Hornets stopped Adam Roach for no gain, and the clock ran out after Salisbury stuffed Brown’s sneak attempt.
“We were pretty excited we stopped them,” defensive back Jeremiah Stockdale said. “Our goal was to hold them to zero the whole game, but we sort of slipped up at the end.”
Stockdale and Dominique Phillips had interception returns for touchdowns called back because of illegal blocks, and Central scored once against the Hornets’ regulars.
Linares Pagan started the second half at quarterback for Salisbury. Gallagher and Brian Bauk also played there after the break.
“The first series I thought we moved it real well, and I really thought we moved it well up to the point John took the shot on his hip,” Pinyan said. “That kind of slowed us down a tad because John’s what makes us go. We have to keep him well.”
 

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