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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Showdown goes way of Warriors

Monday, October 31, 2011

(Photo)
Dillon Turner rolls out, looking for an open target, in Salem's clash with East Poinsett County Oct. 21.
Speedy, elusive and powerful.

Those are words that have been used to describe Salem's 7-0 start to the 2011 football season, as the Greyhounds have been dispatching their foes by an average margin of 40-10.

Speedy, elusive and powerful.

Those are words that have been used to describe East Poinsett County's 6-0 start to the 2011 football season, with the Warriors winning their games by an average score of 50-9.

So naturally, something had to give when the two undefeated squads hooked up for battle Oct. 21 in Lepanto, with the 3-2A Conference championship on the line.

And on this night, it was the Warriors (6-0, 3-2A) who had their way, knocking off the Greyhounds (4-1) 49-7 on Homecoming night for EPC.

The first half was the dogfight that was expected in this game, with the home team clinging to a one touchdown lead at the half.

But EPC broke things open in the second half, reeling off 35 unanswered points for victory.

The Warriors were stout on both sides of the football, holding Salem -- which had been chewing up about 350 yards per game on the ground -- to 119 yards rushing in the contest. On offense, EPC racked up 574 yards, 200 yards of that coming on the legs of quarterback Darius Barnes.

Salem's defense forced a three-and-out on the Warriors' first possession of the game, giving the football to the Hounds at their own 42-yard line.

After some good runs from Blake Hensley, Augustus Freeman and J.J. Gray, Salem found itself at the EPC 7-yard line, facing a fourth-and-goal.

Quarterback Dillon Turner (15-of-25, 119 yards passing) rolled out on fourth down, scrambled to avoid defenders, pulled himself out of the grasp of EPC's A.J. Turner and hit Heath Goodman in the back of the end zone for a TD pass at the 5:28 mark of the first. Jesse James nailed the PAT and the visitors from Salem led 7-0.

The Warriors kept their next drive alive with a nifty fake punt on fourth-and-7 at their own 39 and eight plays later, Barnes hit Turner for a 26-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-14 with 44 ticks left in the first. The extra-point knotted the game at 7-all.

EPC pulled ahead with 7:21 to go in the second quarter on a 5-yard TD run from Barnes.

The Hounds fumbled on their next series and Byron Scales recovered the pigskin for EPC.

But Salem evened the miscues when Justus Sparks fell on a Warrior fumble on EPC's next possession, leaving the home team in front 14-7 at intermission.

It looked like the Hounds might pull even right before the end of the half, but Turner was picked off by Jammar Sturdivant in the end zone to snuff out a drive that had started at Salem's own 45-yard line.

And in the second half, the Warriors found their oats, starting with three touchdowns in the third quarter.

Barnes hit Trevor McDaniel with an 11-yard TD pass at the 6:43 mark and, after Salem was stopped on fourth-and-15 at the EPC 35-yard line on its next series, McDaniel broke free for a 64-yard touchdown with 3:19 still left to play in the third.

Barnes wrapped up the Warriors' scoring in the third on an 8-yard QB keeper at the 24-second mark, staking EPC to a 35-7 cushion heading in to the final frame.

And in the fourth, Dray Young ran in from five yards out, followed by a 77-yard run from Jammar Sturdivant to cap the Warriors' conference title clinching 49-7 victory over the Greyhounds.

Hensley paced Salem on the ground with 48 yards rushing, while Marcus Cagle caught two balls for 50 yards and Nick Gaskins had 42 yards receiving.



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