• 66°

Salisbury rolls past Washington in 2AA playoffs, 32-12

Salisbury moves on with second-round playoff victory

Photo courtesy of Washington Daily News/Mitchell Thomas
Salisbury QB Vance Honeycutt, right, looks to pass the football downfield, as running back JyMikaah Wells (20) looks to block, during Friday night’s state 2AA playoff game against Washington High School, at Washington, N.C. Salisbury won, 32-12.

Staff report

WASHINGTON, N.C. — Salisbury’s defense put 13 points on the scoreboard in the first quarter, igniting a 32-12 second-round state 2AA playoff victory over Washington, here Friday night.

Coach Brian Hinson’s Hornets are now 11-2 and will head east again next week, traveling to Hertford. Washington, the No. 2 seed, ends its season at 9-4.

Salisbury, seeded seventh, turned the ball over on downs on its first series but then the defense held the Pam Pack and forced a punting situation. Washington faked the punt but fumbled, and Hornets’ linebacker Jabril Norman scooped it up and sprinted 45 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.

On Washington’s very next possession, the offense fumbled again. Just like Norman’s play, Salisbury defensive back Lawon Blackwell picked up the loose ball and scored from 20 yards out. The extra point was good and suddenly, Salisbury led, 13-0.

Salisbury running backs Mike McLean and JyMikaah Wells picked up chunks of yardage for the remainder of the first half. Quarterback Vance Honeycutt hit receiver Patrick Taylor for a 10-yard touchdown pass and then Wells had a scoring run. It was 27-0, the Pam Pack was stunned and the Hornets were not finished.

Before halftime, defensive end Dontez Witherspoon sacked the Washington quarterback, Antwone Godley, in the end zone for a safety. Then kicker Josh Portillo nailed a field goal for a 32-0 advantage at intermission.

Salisbury coasted in the second half and the Pam Pack finally hit pay dirt on its second drive in the third period. Godley found Walt Gerard on an out route and the receiver raced down the sideline for a 70-yard TD.

An onside kick was then recovered by Washington and two plays later, Godley turned up field on an option play and went 55 yards for a touchdown. That score cut the home team’s deficit to 32-12, but that would cap all scoring.

The Washington defense held the Hornets offense to modest numbers, but the Salisbury defense is as real as its statistics. After holding opponents to 8.2 points per game in the regular season, Salisbury has yielded just seven points (Mount Pleasant) and 12 points to playoff foes.

The Pam Pack offense faced tough starting positions for a large part of the night. It started inside its own 10-yard line three times, and once inside the 5. Salisbury, meanwhile, began the majority of its drives, including all of the scoring drives, in plus-territory.

“Great win and I’m very proud of the kids,” Hinson said, on the WSAT Memories 1280 broadcast. “The defensive scores early were huge for us. They (Washington) were home and those plays shifted the momentum our way. Offensively, we didn’t execute very well in the second half, but the defense continued to play well the entire game.”

Mitchell Thomas of the Washington Daily News and WSAT Memories 1280 contributed to this article.

Comments

Elections

Local Democrats call to ‘turn the state blue’ during virtual office reopening

Education

Catawba gets high marks in U.S. News and World rankings for fifth year

Business

China Grove soap store sets sights on expansion into Kannapolis

News

Charlotte, UNC game canceled after 49ers place players in quarantine

Crime

Blotter: Sept. 18

Coronavirus

County sees ninth COVID-19 death this week, more than 30 cases reported

BREAKING NEWS

Gov. Cooper announces schools can move K-5 to plan A; school board vote needed locally

Local

Wet weather brings crashes, traffic to standstill on interstate

Crime

Salisbury man victim of Facebook scam, duped out of $2,000

Crime

Two charged after fight outside Salisbury home

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools ships out thousands of old devices for refurbishing

Education

Caught in the infodemic: NC school policies frustrated by scientific challenges

East Spencer

East Spencer to hold community day, provide free food, supplies

Education

Shoutouts

Landis

Landis officials provide plan for COVID-19 funds, discuss town’s financial position

Education

Blattner brought technology into schools before it was cool

Education

State has slight decline in SAT scores

Local

New environmental specialists begin work on backlog soil evaluations

Local

Friends, colleagues say Seay left his mark on Rowan judicial system

Elections

Rep. Howard says ‘still work to be done’ as she seeks 17th term in House

Nation/World

Trump disputes health officials, sees mass vaccinations soon

Nation/World

‘Nothing left in the bucket’: Wildfire resources run thin

Nation/World

At least 1 dead, hundreds rescued after Hurricane Sally

Crime

Blotter: Sheriff’s Office seeking information in shootout