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Friday, May 6, 2016

Hounds find no treats in Augusta

Thursday, November 6, 2008

BREAKAWAY: Jason Huff tries to pull away from a Cross County defender last week. Photo/Mullins
Just how spooky was Salem's trip deep into Woodruff County on Oct. 31?

First, their opponent's name was the Red Devils, surely not a good sign on Halloween night.

Second, the Hounds were still missing a trio of dependable starters sitting out the game with injuries.

And if those signs were not ominous enough, how about an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from the home team in the opening seconds of the contest?

Haunted or not, the Greyhounds' trip was still not the most enjoyable road trip they've taken this year, as Augusta downed Salem 47-14 in 3-2A play.

And it didn't take the Red Devils (3-4, 3-5) long to get cranking.

Demarcus Spears took the opening kick and ran it back 82 yards for a touchdown to set the tone of the game. With the extra-point, Augusta led 7-0 just seconds into the game.

Salem (1-6, 1-8) put together a nice opening drive, marching all the way to the Augusta 18-yard line in seven plays. The drive hung up a bit there, and on fourth down, the Hounds went for a field goal. The kick missed its mark, giving the ball back to the Red Devils.

The Red Devils drove deep onto Salem's side of the field, but Spears fumbled the pigskin near the goal line and the Hounds recovered it at the 1-yard line.

Forced to punt after pushing the ball out near the 20, the Greyhounds gave Augusta a short field to work with and the Red Devils took advantage of this.

With 50 seconds left in the first quarter, Augusta quarterback Brandon Briscoe ran the ball in from 17 yards out for Augusta's second score of the first quarter. The PAT extended the Red Devils' lead to 14-0 after one.

Augusta upped its lead with a touchdown early in the second quarter on a 38-yard run from Ishma Clark on a motion handoff.

With one more touchdown before the half, Augusta took a 27-0 advantage to intermission.

Spears rambled in from two yards out on third-and-goal with 1:29 showing on the clock to give the home squad a four-touchdown cushion at the half.

But instead of hanging their heads after the break, the Greyhounds came out ready to turn things around in the second half.

Salem got busy quickly in the third, using a 66-yard drive to hit paydirt.

Skylar Jones peeled off a big 45-yard run in the series, carrying the football all the way to the Red Devil 6-yard line.

One snap later, quarterback Kyle Berry drove across the goal line on first-and-goal for Salem's first touchdown of the evening. He also toted the 2-point conversion across to pull the Greyhounds within 19, 27-8.

But even though they have a thin roster with just 19 players, the Red Devils are stocked with plenty of speed and that speed paid off on Augusta's next series.

Spears scored a 7-yard touchdown near the 7:00 mark of the third to keep the momentum on Augusta's side. Spears carried the 2-point conversion in to give the Red Devils a 35-8 lead.

But Salem wasn't done, either.

Colin Young fell on an Augusta fumble on the Red Devils' 35-yard line to set up Salem's next score of the game.

Four snaps after the fumble recovery, Kyle Berry had his second TD of the game, this one on a 29-yard carry that made the score 35-14, Augusta.

With just over a minute left in the third, the Red Devils made it 41-14 on another touchdown run from Spears, this one covering 68 yards.

It looked like Salem might find the end zone again early in the fourth quarter.

Faced with a fourth down, Salem used a fake punt to get a first down. Clint Pleasant hit Jason Huff with a 19-yard pass on the play, giving the Greyhounds a fresh set of downs.

Salem reached the Augusta 31 before turning the ball over on downs.

The Red Devils wrapped the night up with a touchdown run from Maurice Alexander with a shade under eight minutes left to play, giving Augusta a 47-14 victory.

The Greyhounds close the 2008 season by hosting the McCrory Jaguars Nov. 6.

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