SALEM 6, MAYFLOWER 43
Though they had a spot in the Class 3 playoffs pretty much sewn up, the Mayflower Eagles still looked much like a team with a lot left to prove Oct. 26.
Maybe it was because the Eagles had been shutout 21-0 the week before in a loss to Marshall, for only their second conference setback, or maybe it was because they were eager to get things done because of the long bus ride back home.
Whatever the reason was, Mayflower raced out to a big lead early, en route to a 43-6 win over Salem at Greyhound Stadium in 2-3A Conference play.
As has been the case for most of the season, the young Hounds (1-8, 1-5) fell behind by a couple of scores in the first quarter and could just not find solid ground on which to recover.
Mayflower's (5-4, 4-2) Jordan Dycus threw three touchdown passes for the game, while John Dale Willis ran back a recovered fumble for 58 yards to pace the Eagles.
DeShawn Bagby crossed the goal line from three yards out to help Mayflower in front 13-0 after the first quarter.
Salem was down 27-0 at intermission and needed a big spark to get things rolling in the second half.
Instead, the Greyhounds turned the ball over less than a minute into the third quarter, giving Mayflower the ball at the Greyhound 25-yard line.
Salem's defense turned up the heat, however, and Blake Hurst stripped the ball from Bagby, to give Salem the football back at its own 34.
Then things took a definite turn for the worse.
Mayflower held Salem to a three-and-out, forcing the Hounds to punt from deep on their side of the field. The Eagles managed to get their hands on the ball as it came off punter Jason Huff's foot, blocking the kick to take over at the Salem 25.
One play later, Dycus hit Trey Smith on a 25-yard TD pass to boost the Eagles' lead. The 2-point try was stopped, but Mayflower led 35-0.
But just as they've done all year, the Hounds, while young and still learning on the fly, responded instead of hanging their heads.
Quarterback Adam Montgomery hit Huff with a beautiful 51-yard pass on the first snap of Salem's next series, moving the ball to the Eagle 25-yard line.
After another short pass to Huff, coupled with a 4-yard run from Skylar Jones, Montgomery broke free for an 11-yard touchdown to get Salem on the board. Huff's point-after kick made it Mayflower 25, Salem 6.
Hurst came up with his second fumble recovery of the third late in the frame to keep the Eagles from doing further damage.
Mayflower did get one last touchdown on a 19-yard run from Demitrius Lasker with six-and-a-half minutes left in the game, rounding out the Eagles' 43-6 victory.
The Greyhounds close out the 2007 season with a trip to Marshall.