Prep Football: Salisbury 68, Carson 28
By Mike London
CHINA GROVE – Carson coach Mark Woody said “Dang” a lot during his postgame comments on Friday, and he wasn’t talking about Carson twins Tommy and Tony Dang.
No, this was more like, “Dang, they’re fast. Dang, they’re good. Dang, they just kicked our tails.”
Woody was referencing the Salisbury Hornets. If you forgot about those guys during their recent week off, they haven’t forgotten how to play football.
Salisbury (3-2) crushed Carson by a basketball-ish 68-28 and ruined homecoming for everyone in orange, except maybe Alyssa Hall, who was crowned queen at halftime.
By the time Hall was elected, Salisbury led 42-14, and this one was already decided.
“They were just too fast,” Woody said. “That was the biggest factor.”
Keion Adams took a handoff on the Hornets’ first play and rumbled 58 yards, scattering Cougars like rag dolls. That set the tone.
“Our offensive line just blew everybody off the ball and I hit the hole,” Adams said. “Our offensive line had a big night. They played well at the start and just kept on doing it.”
It took Salisbury three plays to score its first touchdown. Adams took it in from the 11.
“We were firing off the ball, hitting them in the mouth,” SHS guard Parker McKeithan said.
Salisbury’s first-string offense sat down the last 10 minutes, but SHS still topped 500 yards of offense, with 431 yards coming on the ground.
Max Allen had 151 rushing yards and two TDs. Justin Ruffin had 122 rushing yards and scored three times. QB Brian Bauk did all his damage before halftime, rushing for two scores and throwing TD passes to Allen and Ruffin.
“Two of our first three touchdowns were on passes, and that doesn’t happen much,” Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan said. “Maybe we were a little bit lucky, but everything just fell into place for us. The first half was just a fun night.”
For Carson (1-5), Austin McNeill threw three TD passes to K.J. Pressley, Brandon Sloop rushed 28 times for 185 yards, and Darren Isom ran for a TD.
But while Carson posted nice offensive numbers, they were misleading. It never was a contest. Salisbury led 28-0 early in the second quarter, and it was 62-14 before Carson managed a couple of fourth-quarter TDs, including a 90-yard connection between McNeill and Pressley.
“I really don’t think we’re that far away, so it’s tough to swallow getting beat like this,” Woody said. “It’s frustrating. You lose a few, and then kids start to press. We’re just struggling, and Salisbury is awfully good. Everybody they’ve got left has their hands full.”
The week layoff helped Salisbury in one respect. It gave Pinyan two full weeks to remind the Hornets that they had lost at Carson in 2010, the year that Salisbury won the 2AA state championship.
This was Salisbury’s first visit to the Carson field since that painful loss, and the memory still lingered. Hornets made electrifying plays such as a pick-six by Bobby Johnson.
“I was bored that whole week we were off, but we challenged ourselves to play well tonight,” Bauk said. “When you’ve got guys running 80 yards without getting touched, it means your offensive line is doing a great job. Those guys were good and all our backs are so quick and powerful.”
The most points Carson has ever given up was 69 to West Rowan in 2009. If not for two mishaps on PATs (one blocked, one bad snap), the Hornets would’ve put up an even 70.
“We executed,” Adams said. “Carson never laid down, but we put up a big number.”