Prep Football: Salisbury 35, North Rowan 6
By Ryan Bisesi
SPENCER — With John Knox in attendance at Eagle Stadium Friday night, current Salisbury quarterback Brian Bauk showed the former state champion that Joe Pinyan’s wishbone offense is in good hands.
In only his second game behind center, Bauk made the most of an apparent early-season effort by both teams and ran for 100 yards and had two touchdowns in a 35-6 Salisbury rout of North Rowan.
The intracounty contest wouldn’t have placed in any beauty pageants with both teams accounting for 80 penalty yards apiece, but the Hornets displayed their never-waver demeanor to cruise to the program’s 12th-straight win.
“It’s great that we’ve got some things to work on,” Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan said. “We did some things well and did some things poorly tonight.”
Of course, it helps when your defense has allowed six points in the opening two games. The Hornets (2-0) were a frequent visitor in the North backfield, stopping quarterback T.J. Allen behind the line of scrimmage eight times.
Dominique Dismuke copied Bauk with 100 yards. Justin Ruffin ran for 84 yards as did Max Allen, who overcame two fumbles on his team’s first two drives.
On the second play of the second quarter, Dismuke wiggled in from 2 yards out to cap a 79-yard possession and give Salisbury the lead for keeps.
“I felt good about the win, but we played a little sluggish at times,” said Dismuke, a senior who is the only returning backfield starter.
On its next series, Salisbury got North (0-2) to jump offsides on a crucial fourth-and-1 for a first down in the red zone. Three plays later, Bauk took it in from the 6.
Travis Byrd’s sack forced a turnover on downs later in the quarter, giving Salisbury the ball near midfield. Bauk had his longest completion of the night on a 32-yard strike to Ruffin three plays later. Ruffin scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 3-yard carry for a 22-0 edge.
It was the eighth consecutive win for Salisbury in the series, although it had to forfeit its 2008 win to the Cavs.
“Salisbury played 15 games last year,” North coach Tasker Fleming said. “That’s an extra half a season.”
North, which was whistled for too many men on the field three times, could have used the extra help against the defending 2AA state champions.
The Cavs only managed one first down in the game, with the lone TD coming on a 46-yard bomb from T.J. Allen to Parker Smith in the final minute of the first half.
North, feeling good after a close loss against county rival Carson in Week 1, looked overmatched.
“We’re just not in shape,” Fleming said. “When you’re tired, you’re going to make more mistakes. That’s on us as a coaching staff.”
North kept Salisbury off the board in the third quarter, but Dismuke broke free and ran 31 yards into the end zone early in the fourth quarter.
After a William Brown interception, Salisbury ended the scoring on a 5-yard lob that somehow ended up in Ruffin’s hands with 5:08 to play.
“The defense was solid and they’re going to be solid all year,” Bauk said. “I mean, six points in two games? That’s great.”