Hornets survive scare, advance to second round of state playoffs

Published 11:19 pm Friday, November 4, 2022

SALISBURY — Salisbury’s sixth-seeded football team has reached the second round of the 2A state playoffs, but getting there wasn’t easy.
The heavily favored Hornets needed two fourth-quarter touchdowns Friday night to survive a first-round scare from visiting Brevard before winning 28-16. They’ll host Pine Lake Prep, the No. 11 seed, in Round 2 next Friday.

“Brevard came in fired up and ready to play,” winning coach Clayton Trivett said after Salisbury (10-1) secured its 10th straight victory. “And we didn’t respond too well in the first half. We just found a way to finish.”

The Hornets trailed 10-7 in the second quarter and held a precarious 14-10 lead entering the final period. Running back JyMikaah Wells — bottled up for most of the game — busted loose for a 34-yard touchdown run early in the fourth stanza. After 27th-seed Brevard (5-6) closed within 21-16 on 63-yard sideline sprint by senior Nashon Griffin, SHS responded when quarterback Mike Geter hit wide open tight end Damien Brandon with a decisive 25-yard TD pass over the middle with 3:13 remaining.

“We just caught the defense off guard,” Brandon said after snaring his second touchdown pass of the season — and only catch of the night. “The linebackers were lined up wide, outside of me, and there was safety. Every other play I was in there to block. They were sleeping on my receiving ability.”

Geter completed 11 of 18 passes for 88 yards and a pair of TDs. He also ran 18 yards for a score on Salisbury’s opening drive. Teammate Hank Webb made a 5-yard touchdown catch late in the first half. Wells finished with 107 yards rushing and his 29th touchdown of the season, while the SHS defense limited Brevard to seven first downs.

Pine Lake Prep (10-1) advanced with a 38-20 first-round win against West Stokes.

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