SALEM 3, MAYFLOWER 46
Even in today's ultra-quick, get-it-done-now society, it's hard to get much done in a minute's time.
Microwave popcorn doesn't even pop that fast.
So imagine how hard it must be to get anything done in 23 seconds' time.
But 23 seconds is all the time it took for the Mayflower Eagles to turn what had been a very competitive first 23 minutes of play into a runaway 46-3 2-3A Conference victory at Patrick Stadium over the visiting Salem Greyhounds Oct. 27.
What looked to be a positive finish to the first half of play for Salem (4-5, 2-4 conference) turned to be a ride on the Titanic.
Trailing 12-0 with a little under 10 minutes left until the half, the Hounds put together an impressive scoring march starting at their own 42-yard line.
On third-and-10, quarterback Jeff Nelson hit Derek Estes with a nifty 34-yard pass that put the ball in Mayflower territory.
Salem got the ball all the way to the Eagle 11-yard line, where the Hounds were faced with fourth-and-goal.
The Greyhounds elected to go for a field goal and Clint Pleasant came through with a 29-yard boot, good for Salem's first field goal of the season.
Pleasant's kick cut Mayflower's lead to nine, 12-3, with 4:03 left until intermission.
If only it could have ended right there.
Instead, Mayflower put together a scoring drive starting at the Eagle 15-yard line.
Deshaun Bagby finished off this drive with a 19-yard TD run on second-and-10 with 56 seconds showing on the clock. The 2-point attempt was no good, leaving Mayflower on top 18-3.
It didn't end there.
The Eagles squibbed an onside kick that bounced off the slick, wet turf and was recovered by Neil Pace at the Mayflower 47-yard line.
One snap and 10 seconds after their previous score, the Eagles hit paydirt again on a 53-yard run from Chris McKnight. The 2-point try was denied, but Mayflower had extended its margin to 24-3.
Salem did get the ensuing kickoff, but on the first snap of the new series, the Hounds fumbled the ball away and Jeremy Pace got it for Mayflower at the Greyhound 9-yard line.
Bagby carried the ball across the goal line with 23 ticks left until the half, continuing Mayflower's last second barrage of points. McKnight carried in the 2-point conversion to give Mayflower a devastating 32-3 lead, capping a 20-point explosion in a 23-second span.
Salem stopped Mayflower on the Eagles' first possession of the third quarter, forcing Mayflower to cough up the football on a hard hit from Brad Segura.
The Hounds were pinned deep in their own turf on fourth down but used a fake punt and big carry from Nelson to move the ball out to the 43-yard line.
Unable to get anything going from this point, Salem finally punted and Mayflower scored on its next touch of the ball.
The Eagles crashed through on second-and-6 from the Salem 11-yard line at the 4:52 point of the third. The 2-point conversion gave Mayflower a 40-3 lead after three.
The Eagles finished things off with one more TD in the fourth, capping their 46-3 victory.
Things didn't start off so bad for the Hounds in the first quarter of play.
Thanks to a pair of Mayflower fumbles, Salem made three trips deep inside the Eagles' Red Zone in the first 12 minutes of play.
The first trip was set up by a nice Blake Hurst scamper, but Salem was unable to go all the way, as the Eagles held on fourth-and-4 from the 5-yard line.
Mayflower then fumbled at its own 22, but once again Salem could not turn this gift into points.
Bagby started the night's scoring with an 11-yard run, the first of his four TDs, on second-and-5 as time ran out in the first quarter. The 2-point try was no good, giving Mayflower a 6-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
The first 11 minutes of the second quarter was hotly-contested until Mayflower blew things completely open with its amazing surge just before intermission.
The loss knocked Salem out of a chance to make the playoffs this year.
With one week left in the regular season, the 2-3A's playoffs teams are Harding Academy (6-0 conference), Mayflower (5-1), Yellville-Summit (5-1) and Perryville (4-2).
The Greyhounds play host to Marshall Nov. 3 for the last outing of the 2006 season.