Prep Football: Salisbury 47, East Davidson 17
THOMASVILLE – East Davidson football coach Bryan Lingerfelt was thoroughly pleased with his team’s season-ending performance against heavily favored Salisbury Friday night.
And the Golden Eagles still lost by four touchdowns.
Such is the disparity between the upper echelon and the bottom half of the Central Carolina Conference.
The Hornets used their speed and power to run past and through East 47-18 and wrapped up the league championship in the process.
Salisbury quarterback Brian Bauk ran the option to perfection, totaling 125 yards on the ground and a score as the visitors overwhelmed a game effort by the home team on Senior Night.
“We just couldn’t stop them,” said Lingerfelt, whose team ended its season 1-4 in the CCC, 3-8 overall. “We had some kids in position (on defense) to make plays, they just outran us. They are hard, downfield runners. “But our kids played hard and well. This game tonight really epitomizes our whole season, because of the kids’ effort.”
Salisbury (8-2, 5-0) opened the game with a quick score as Justin Ruffin took a toss sweep on the game’s third play from scrimmage and scooted 62 yards for a TD. East answered right back with an impressive 11-play, 79-yard drive, which culminated with Michael Ramos’ 1-yard scoring plunge.
Salisbury, on cue, forged back ahead with Allen’s 16-yard scoring burst on the visitors’ next possession. And Salisbury stayed on the attack, as Quan Davis’ interception at the East 20-yard line keyed Bauk’s 6-yard TD run on an option keeper.
Down 21-6, East put together another efficient drive, going 76 yards in seven plays, with Craven outdueling a Salisbury defender on a jump-ball pass.
“They did some things really good and exposed some things we don’t do very good,” said Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan. “I thought we had an off night defensively, especially early. We straightened it out more in the second half, but I have the utmost respect for Coach Lingerfelt. They had some good things prepared and he had some tricks up his sleeve.”
That effort had Salisbury a bit befuddled on defense.The Eagles traded scores with the Hornets and controlled the clock, racking up 11 first downs.
But two big plays doomed Lingerfelt’s troops.
After quarterback Austin Wallace hooked up with Josh Craven on a 15-yard scoring pass which sliced East’s deficit to 21-12, Salisbury started to pull away five plays later. Max Allen took a swing pass from Bauk, headed toward the left sideline, bulled over an East tackler, and tip-toed his way to a 58-yard touchdown with less than two minutes remaining.
Moments later, as East was trying to drive for a score right before the half, Wallace was intercepted by Keion Adams. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior promptly weaved his way for an 86-yard return and touchdown, making it 33-12 and wiping out East’s upset bid.
“That really hurt,” said Lingerfelt. “That interception return pretty much sealed the deal.”
Pinyan was undoubtedly impressed with East’s trickery on at least three occasions. The Eagles ran a double pass where Wallace tossed a lateral to Craven, who then hooked up with fellow wideout Taylor Booze downfield.
But none of those plays fooled Salisbury long enough. The Hornets added a 6-yard TD run by Derek Blackwell and a 9-yard scoring dash by Allen in the third quarter to wrap up their scoring.
“Our kids understood last week was virtually the conference championship,” said Pinyan, referring to his club’s thrilling 43-39 win over Thomasville. “We took this week as a kickoff to the playoffs. There’s not a lot of hoopla tonight. We came in here, rolled up our sleeves and did what we needed to do.”•NOTES: Salisbury tallied 348 yards rushing as a team, and the touchdown pass to Allen was Bauk’s lone completion.
Notes: East’s final TD of the night came on a 2-yard run by Campbell in the third quarter. …Salisbury tallied 348 yards rushing as a team and the touchdown pass to Allen was Bauk’s lone completion. …Wallace did throw four interceptions but also totaled 173 yards through the air with the one TD. …East only loses five seniors so Lingerfelt is hoping for bigger things next season. “We should have a whole lot better idea of what it takes to get to a higher level next season,” he said. “I think we improved as the season went on, which is what you want. But it’s a lot more than wins and loses to me. It’s about character and bouncing back and this team, this year showed it.”
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