SALEM 48, PIGGOTT 0
After four weeks of frustration that saw the Salem Greyhounds fall into an 0-4 hole to start the 2005 season, the Hounds finally broke through and dumped a month's worth of frustration on Piggott, as the Hounds pounded the Mohawks into the Clay County turf by a count of 48-0 in 3AA Conference play Sept. 30.
While the Mohawks (2-3, 1-1 in 3AA play) were undoubtedly anxious to notch a big victory on their homecoming night, this one was Salem all the way.
The Hounds (1-4, 1-1) took control of the line of scrimmage from the game's outset, using execution that had been missing the first four weeks of the season.
Although he was battling a case of sore ribs, Salem's senior quarterback Chad Willett didn't seem to be any worse for wear as he guided the Hounds to the first of their seven TDs on the night with a first-quarter drive.
With good field position, the kind they would enjoy all game long, Salem marched 46 yards to paydirt late in the first quarter.
On first-and-goal from the 15, Willett hit Derek Estes in the end zone for a touchdown pass that gave Salem its first lead of the year. Ian Williams booted the PAT, and with 4:02 left in the first, the Greyhounds led 7-0.
It looked as though Piggott might make a game of it early in the second, but a 21-yard TD run at the 9:44 mark of the frame was called back due to an illegal block in the back.
While this nullified touchdown seemed to deflate the Mohawks, it recharged the Hounds' batteries, as Salem added another score before the end of the half.
Down by seven points with just a shade over three minutes left before intermission, Piggott tried a fake punt on fourth-and-7 just inside the Hounds' side of the field. Thomas Cooper snuffed out the attempt, and Salem took the ball over at its own 37-yard line.
After a big reception by Dustin Vaughn started Salem's last drive of the half, the Greyhounds struck for their second TD of the night, this one coming at the 1:30 mark of the second on a 14-yard TD tote by Zack Harber. Williams' extra-point staked the Hounds to a 14-0 halftime advantage.
Just getting warmed up, the Greyhounds blew the lid off the game in the second half of play.
Piggott's first possession of the third ended with a three-and-out, but the Mohawks mishandled the punt attempt and Vaughn and Dusty York wrapped up the Piggott punter at the 25-yard line to give the Greyhounds good field position.
Willett found the end zone on a 14-yard quarterback keeper at the 9:27 mark of the third to boost Salem's lead. The PAT was wide of the mark, but the Greyhounds stood in firm control with a 20-zip lead.
Harber made his presence felt late in the third by ripping off a 29-yard run that moved the football to the Piggott 3-yard line. Two plays later, Willett crossed the goal line on a quarterback keeper at the 2:08 mark of the third. Willett then rolled out and hit York in the end zone for the successful 2-point conversion to stretch the Hounds' margin to 28-0.
Not quite done, Salem racked up three more touchdowns in the final frame.
Piggott put together its best-looking drive of the night, moving deep into Greyhound territory.
Not about to let a shutout slip through their hands, the Hound defense bucked up, and York picked off a Piggott pass and ran it back 67 yards for a touchdown at the 9:33 mark of the fourth, making the score Salem 34, Piggott 0.
The final nine minutes of the night belonged to Greyhound running back Blake Hurst.
After the Mohawks fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, a 22-yard run by Jeff Nelson took the ball down to the Piggott 5-yard line.
Hurst took the ball the rest of the way, posting a 5-yard TD run that came with 7:47 left in the game. Williams' PAT extended Salem's lead to 41-0.
Hurst then capped off Salem's big victory with a 30-yard run through the Mohawks defense that gave the Hounds seven touchdowns on the night, more than they had managed the first four weeks of the season. Williams' extra-point rounded out the Greyhounds' 48-point win.