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Prep Football: Salisbury to honor Price, Boyden champs

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
Salisbury High will celebrate its strong football tradition on Friday when the Hornets tangle with South Rowan at historic Ludwig Stadium.
Salisburyís roots are the great J.C. Price teams coached by Hall of Famer Spencer W. (Prof) Lancaster and the outstanding Boyden squads coached by Hall of Famer Bill Ludwig. The stadium was dedicated to his memory in ceremonies held in 1968.
Price, Salisburyís black school in the days of segregation, won state championships in 1940 and 1952, played in the state championship game in 1950 and also was denied potential state titles in 1943 and 1951 by cirumstances beyond the Red Devilsí control.
Boyden won NCHSAA state championships in 1955 and 1957 while competing in 3A, the largest classification at that time.
A few highlights:
Price 1940
This may have been the most remarkable team in county history. The Red Devils ran roughshod over 11 straight opponents and likely were the best team in the state regardless of color or school size. With players such as Spotlight Jones and Scooterbuck Gaston, Price scored 336 points while allowing zero. Yes, zero.
Price demolished perennial power Hickory Ridgeview 46-0, beat Greensboro Dudley 13-0 and smashed out-of-state challengers from South Carolina and Virginia.
Price handled Asheville Stephens-Lee 13-0 for the Western title and whipped Raleigh B.T. Washington 19-0 for the state championship.
Price 1952
Priceís golden era was 1950-52, a three-season span in which Lancasterís teams lost only one time.
That lone loss came in the 1950 state championship game, a bitterly fought road struggle against Raleigh Washington in which the Red Devils were outweighed 30 pounds per man on the line.
Price then went 6-0-2 in 1951, tying much larger West Charlotte and rival Lexington Dunbar. Officially, Price was the 2A Western N.C. co-champion, but Hickory Ridgeview was chosen by a commissioner to represent the West against Eastern champ Nash Training School.
Lancaster quietly made it a point to schedule Ridgeview in 1952 and the Red Devils claimed a resounding 48-0 victory in which Ridgeview never crossed midfield.
Price (9-0) went on to win the the 2A NCHSAC state title by beating Tarboro Patillo 13-7 in a brutally cold game played on Boydenís field.
George Alexander scored the winning touchdown to cap a legendary drive directed by backup QB Jimmy Holmes. Lancaster tapped Holmes on the shoulder after starting QB William Hickman was ejected for making a wicked hit on defense.
Price posted seven shutouts that season, and Ernest ěMr. Touchdownî McCray was, as his nickname implies, a scoring machine.
Boyden 1955
Multi-sport athletes such as Alvin Smith, Paul Roberts, Bill Eaton and Milt Clement got home on Sept. 4 from the American Legion World Series in Minnesota and played football five days later when Boyden opened against Statesville.
Ludwigís single-wing machine featured Roberts, who ran behind linemen such as Ronnie Bostian (Duke) and Larry Pring (Notre Dame).
A mid-September non-conference loss at Rocky Mount and a 7-7 tie at Gastonia on the final week of the regular season were the only blemishes on the Yellow Jacketsí record.
Boyden whipped Gastonia 21-7 ó the first loss for Gastonia that season ó in a rematch for the Western crown.
Then Boyden (10-1-1) took a 13-6 win over Durham on a frosty Thanksgiving weekend for the 3A state title. Roberts executed a 57-yard quick kick with Boyden backed up on its 1-yard line. All-State end Tom Page caught passes for both TDs.
Boyden 1957
The T-formation was taking over by 1957, but Ludwig stuck with the traditional, blood-and-guts power of the single-wing offense. Boyden had the stateís highest-scoring team that season, rolling up 269 points.
Boydenís defense also was stout, posting five consecutive shutouts.
Tailback Eddie Kesler, blocking back Eddie Julian and the ěTouchdown Twinsî ó wingback Bobby Crouch and fullback George Knox ó formed one of the great backfields in county history. Line standouts included Bill Allen, Jim Edmiston and Sam Loflin.
Boyden went 9-1-1. The loss was early ó 26-20 to Wilmington New Hanover and Roman Gabriel.
Playing at home, Boyden routed Fayetteville 21-0 in the rain for the 3A championship. Crouch was the star, breaking two long TD runs.

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