But after an automobile accident involving five players from Yellville-Summit, Salem's week two opponent, the Greyhounds found themselves with no game on the night of Sept. 11.
With the emotional drain that the Hounds were under from the week that followed, it would have been expected that Salem would be a bit rusty in returning to the field Sept. 19, opening 3-2A Conference play against the Rector Cougars.
However, if there was any rust at all on the Hounds, they quickly shook it off to rout the Cougars 37-8 at Paul Temerian Field in Rector.
Ty Berry had another monster outing for Salem (2-0), rushing 15 times for 108 yards and three touchdowns in the Greyhounds' big win over Rector.
And Salem stated its intentions early in this one.
The Hounds held Rector to a three-and-out on the Cougars' first series of the game.
Then, Salem marched 61 yards in 10 plays to get the scoring started.
Berry capped the scoring drive with a 3-yard TD run on second-and-goal at the 5:56 mark of the first quarter. Jason Huff kicked the PAT to give Salem a 7-0 lead.
After the Greyhound defense forced another Rector punt, Salem scored lightning quick on its second series of the contest.
On first-and-10 from the Salem 46, Berry ripped off a nifty 54-yard burst down the field for his team's second TD of the first quarter. The extra-point was off the mark, but with 1:05 left in the first, Salem had established a 13-0 lead.
And the Hounds continued to keep up the pace in the second quarter.
With the Cougars in possession of the ball on their side of the field, Shane Travelstead broke through on third down and drug down Rector quarterback Dustin Sparks for a huge loss, all the way back to the Cougar 18-yard line.
On fourth-and-28 from the 18, the Cougars lined up in punt formation. But the Salem defensive front used an excellent push to block the punt and Colby Harber recovered the football deep in Cougar territory.
Two snaps later, Berry had his third TD of the game, this one from five yards out with a shade over four minutes left until the half. Huff knocked down the PAT and Salem stood in front 20-0.
Rector was again backed up deep on its own side of the field when David Foster sacked Sparks for a big loss, forcing Rector to punt.
The Greyhounds took over at the Cougar 45-yard line and moved the ball down field, resulting in a 29-yard field goal from Huff with 19 ticks left until intermission.
The Hounds had one final opportunity to score before the break, thanks once again, to superb defense.
Travelstead recovered a Rector fumble at the Cougar 13-yard line, leaving the Greyhounds with just enough time to attempt a field goal.
Huff missed this one, but the Greyhounds were still in command 23-zip at halftime.
On their first series of the third quarter, the Greyhounds hit paydirt once again.
Near the 10-minute mark of the frame, Dustin Ray hit Huff with an 81-yard TD pass to keep things rolling for the Greyhounds.
Huff then booted the PAT to extend Salem's lead to 30-0.
Rocky Smith scored Salem's last TD of the game on a 12-yard keeper just before the end of the third to give the Hounds a 37-0 advantage.
Rector broke the shutout with a 3-yard touchdown run from Seth Parsley in the fourth quarter.
The successful 2-point conversion made the final score Salem 37, Rector 8.