Prep Football: Salisbury 63, Central Davidson 22
By Mike Duprez
SALISBURY — Central Davidson arrived at Salisbury’s Ludwig Stadium clearly on a roll with three consecutive wins, including a breakthrough triumph over Thomasville last week.
That came to a screeching halt Friday night.
It was the 2-AA defending state champion Hornets who rolled up a tidal wave of points in a 63-22 rout of the Spartans in their Central Carolina Conference matchup.
“We played an awfully good football team tonight,” said Central coach Brad Morton, whose team fell to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the CCC. “They’re almost as good as last year. We didn’t play as well we’re capable of playing. Sometimes after a big win you have a little letdown. We had a big letdown. We’ve got to learn to overcome things like that.”
Salisbury’s domination was complete. The Hornets amassed 424 yards rushing on just 24 attempts. They scored on all eight possessions and never even faced a third down. Fullback Justin Ruffin broke off touchdown runs of 40 and 60 yards, reserve tailback Braylon Dailey had two touchdown runs, Dominique Dismuke had a 34-yard touchdown run and quarterback Brian Bauk threw for a touchdown and ran for another.
“We’ve got good speed in our backfield,” Bauk said. “Our running backs and fullback can really run. Our offensive linemen are real athletic. They get out and block people you wouldn’t expect them to block. We use our speed to our advantage.”
No one was about to dispute that.
“It’s the personnel they have,” Morton said. “They’ve got great athletes. This is the kind of game we want to put behind us and go on to the next one.”
Saig Skeen led Central with 187 yards and all three Spartan touchdowns on 32 carries. The junior tailback now has 1,142 yards for the season.
Salisbury (6-1 overall, 2-0 CCC) led 35-0 at halftime.
“I thought we did a lot of good things on the field,” said Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan. “We knew they could move the football and they’ve got a good offensive football team. I thought we did a good job on them in the first half.”
Central’s rude welcome commenced soon after receiving the opening kickoff.
Salisbury’s defense stuffed what had been a potent Central offense on a three-and-out, forcing a Levi Bruff punt that only carried 22 yards to the Central 47. Two plays later, Ruffin scooted 40 yards for a touchdown. Keion Adams ran in the two-point conversion and Salisbury led 8-0 with 9:20 left in the first quarter.
Central responded with a long, time-consuming drive into the red zone. But on second-and-goal from the 8, Moore fumbled on a run to the left side. B.J. Woods scooped it up and zoomed 90 yards for a stunning touchdown. The first of five Michael Mazur extra point kicks made it a 15-0 game.
“I think that kind of took the wind out of their sails,” Pinyan said.
After having only two snaps the entire first quarter, Salisbury finally got its second possession of the game early in the second period. It took the Hornets just four plays to cover 75 yards, with Dismuke scoring on a 34-yard run. The extra point was blocked but Salisbury had a commanding 21-0 lead with 10:07 left in the half.
The Spartans gambled on fourth and less than a yard from their own 38 and Josh Moore was stopped cold.
Central paid dearly. Bauk fired a 29-yard completion to Dismuke on the next play. Salisbury was temporarily slowed by a holding penalty but Bauk pulled off a slick option keeper and darted 16 yards for a touchdown, increasing Salisbury’s lead to 27-0 with 6:47 remaining in the first half.
And the Hornets kept coming.
Once again running through a huge hole on the left side, Ruffin took off on a 60-yard touchdown jaunt as Salisbury increased its already overwhelming lead to 35-0 with 3:16 still to go in the first half.
Halftime bought Central just a brief respite.
Bauk fired a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jon Hall on the Hornets’ first possession of the second half, extending the lead to 42-0. Things were going so well for Salisbury that Hall wasn’t even the intended receiver. He made a diving catch after Ruffin deflected.
Central finally broke into the scoring column on Skeen’s 1-yard run and a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Nathan Dennis to Moore.
Salisbury came right back as Dejoun Jones’ 47-yard burst set up a Dailey 9-yard touchdown run, making it 49-8.
Skeen tallied touchdown runs of 1 and 6 yards in the fourth quarter.
The Hornets tacked a 20-yard touchdown run by Jones and a 5-yard TD run by Dailey.
Central hosts East Davidson next Friday while Salisbury visits Lexington in a showdown for first place in the CCC.
NOTES: Moore had 79 yards on 20 carries. … Ruffin had 127 yards on four carries. … Jones had eight carries for 114 yards. … Dismuke had five carries for 89 yards.