SALISBURY — West quarterback Harrison Baucom was slammed to the Ludwig Stadiu grass for a sack, and the huge loss left West facing third-and-a-mile at the Salisbury 35 with the clock ticking away in the first half.
Baucom picked himself up, dusted himself off, and on the next snap, he hit slot Darius Gabriel — flying on a seam route — with a pinpoint pass that gained 33 yards. Two snaps later, Baucom powered into the end zone for a backbreaking touchdown with 32 seconds left in the half.
Long story short: Baucom made the transition from fine athlete to fine quarterback on Friday, and West destroyed Salisbury 55-0.
Baucom threw for 185 yards, and it wasn’t like his receivers were just winning jump balls. He was on the money most of the time.
“We worked really hard all week, and this was payday,” Baucom said. “And hats off to our defense for the shutout.”
It was the most lopsided loss in school history for the Hornets, the most points they’d ever allowed in a football game, and their 13th straight loss to the Falcons.
West (2-1) played again without star tailback Daisean Reddick, but Keyows Weeks (20 carries, 158 yards, two TDs) got it done for the second straight week behind a dominant offensive line that welcomed back center Trey Brawley from a concussion.
“We were looking for improvement from Week 2 to Week 3, and we got that,” said West coach Scott Young, who logged his 160th career win and is 12-0 against the Hornets. “And besides getting better, we’re getting healthier.”
West also got two TDs each from Baucom, receiver Chris Patterson and third-team tailback Amos Duncan.
Patterson, playing for the first time this season, made an impact. He caught the22-yard TD pass late in the first quarter that made it 14-0.
“I hurt my shoulder in a scrimmage, and I missed about three weeks,” Patterson explained. “Harrison just happened to see me open on that touchdown, and he was throwing the ball in exactly the right places all night.”
Patterson made it 21-0 on the wildest play of the evening when he picked up a fumble by Gabriel, who was racing with the ball after a reception, and took the ball the rest of the way to the end zone.
“I was trying to block for Darius, and then I happened to look back and saw that he’d dropped it,” Patterson said. “I just scooped it and scored.”
Salisbury (0-3) wasn’t doing any scooping or scoring, although coach Ryan Crowder was accurate when he pointed out the single play that did the most to doom the Hornets.
Baucom was sacked, and the ball popped free and lay on the turf unmolested for long seconds. The Hornets had the opportunity to pick the ball up and cruise for a touchdown, but they didn’t react quickly, and Baucom pounced on the ball and kept possession.
“That play was a 14-point swing,” Crowder said. “It should’ve been a touchdown for us, but they got the ball back, and then they scored.”
West piled up more than 500 yards of offense, while holding the Hornets under 200.
“We talked before the game that we wanted to hold them under 17 points, and we wanted to hold them to 100 rushing yards,” Young said. Those are the kind of defensive numbers we’ve gotten used to. We’ve won a lot with those numbers.”
West got interceptions from Nick Collins and Najee Tucker, and only a 39-yard dash by QB Riley Myers and some very determined inside runs by Willie Clark pushed the Hornets to a respectable rushing total.
“Our defense has gotten better every week, and it was important to play well against an option team,” Collins said. “In the SPC this year, we’re going to see five of them.”
West Rowan 55, Salisbury XX
First downs 20 9
Rushing yardage 316 132
Passing yardage 185 28
Passing (C-A-I) 9-15-0 3-12-2
Punting 3-36.3 7-32.4
Fumbles-Lost 4-1 2-1
Penalties 10-71 9-52
West Rowan 14 14 6 21 — 55
Salisbury 0 0 0 0 — 0
WR — Weeks 1 run (Russell kick), 4:06, 1st
WR — Patterson 22 pass from Baucom (Russell kick), 1:42, 1st
WR — Patterson 3 run with fumble (Russell kick), 5:26, 2nd
WR — Baucom 2 run (Russell kick), 10:32, 2nd
WR — Baucom 1 run (kick blocked), 10:12, 3rd
WR — Weeks 18 run (Russell kick), 11:48, 4th
WR — Duncan 50 run (Russell kick), 8:25, 4th
WR — Duncan 1 run (Russell kick), 1:52, 2th
Rushing — WR: Weeks 20-158; Duncan 6-88; Flanagan 1-50; Baucom 6-8; Kennedy 1-6; Otto 3-3; Patterson 1-3; SAL : Myers 13-50; Clark 8-48; Krider 7-25; Horne 3-7; Glenn 2-2.
Passing — WR: Baucom 9-15-0, 183. SAL: Myers 3-12-2, 28.
Pass receiving — WR : Gabriel 4-79; Patterson 2-64; Parks 2-25; Parker 1-15. SAL: Petty 1-14; Jones 1-9; Clark 1-5.
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