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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gettin' their groove back

Thursday, November 3, 2011

(Photo)
Salem's J.J. Gray runs for some tough yards against East Poinsett County. Gray racked up 147 yards rushing in the Greyhounds' big 67-32 victory over the visiting Augusta Red Devils Oct. 28. Photo/Mullins
Augusta had to know what kind of mood Salem was in when it traveled to Greyhound Stadium Oct. 28 for a 3-2A Conference matchup.

Put it this way -- coming off their first loss of the season the week prior, the Hounds were not in a very good mood.

And the Red Devils took the brunt of Salem's grumpiness, as the Greyhounds got back on the winning track with a 67-32 whipping of Augusta, keeping the Red Devils winless in conference play.

With a berth to the Class 2A state playoffs tucked safely in their back pocket, the Hounds (8-1 overall, 5-1 3-2A) will play for second place in the conference Nov. 3 when they travel to McCrory (5-1, conference) to tangle with the Jaguars.

East Poinsett County earned the conference's top spot with an unblemished 7-0 mark.

But to their credit, the Red Devils (1-7-1, 0-6), even though they had just 18 players on the roster and several of those were freshmen, came out with a purpose against Salem.

Augusta moved 75 yards in just three plays on the opening possession of the game to take an early lead. Kyle Williams scored from six yards to wrap up the quick drive. Quarterback Cordell Turner hit Jordan Brown with the 2-point pass to give the Red Devils an 8-0 lead.

Salem answered back with an eight-play drive that resulted in paydirt when quarterback Dillon Turner tossed a 15-yard TD strike to Marcus Cagle (four catches, 82 yards) at the 4:36 mark of the first. Turner then ran in the 2-point conversion to knot the score at 8-all.

Turner had another monster night, passing for 249 yards, completing 11 of 13 passes for five touchdowns.

It looked like Salem would punch the ball in for another score near the end of the first, but a fumble into the end zone stopped that from happening, leaving things square at 8-all after one.

But on their second snap from scrimmage in the second, Turner cut loose with a 64-yard bomb that Heath Goodman reeled in and took to the house for Salem's second TD of the game at the 10:54 mark. J.J. Gray ran in the 2-point conversion for a 16-8 Greyhound lead. Goodman caught four passes for 134 yards to pace Salem. Gray racked up a game-high 147 yards rushing on 18 carries.

Augusta came right back with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Turner to Henry Poindexter at the 9:07 mark to pull the Red Devils even with Salem at 16-all.

The back-and-fourth scoring continued as Salem got a 1-yard TD run from Augustus Freeman (nine carries, 74 yards) with 6:55 left before the half. Nick Gaskins (six carries, 57 yards, two catches, 20 yards) ran in the 2-point try to push Salem back in front 24-16.

But the fireworks were not over.

Augusta's L.J. Driver took the ensuing kick and ran it back 79 yards for a touchdown to keep pace with the Hounds. The 2-point conversion locked the game at 24-all with 6:42 still left before intermission.

And Salem absolutely owned those last six-plus minutes.

Turner hooked up with Cagle again, this time on a 13-yard touchdown pass at the 4:10 mark to give Salem a 30-24 cushion.

The Red Devils turned the ball over on their next series and that gave Turner the opportunity to toss a 15-yard TD pass to Gaskins at the 2:53 mark. Turner toted the 2-point try across the goal line and the Greyhounds led 38-24.

Salem's separation continued as Turner hooked up with Goodman for a 14-yard touchdown pass with a touch over a minute before the half. Jesse James caught Turner's 2-point pass to give the home team a 46-24 advantage at the break.

In the third, Freeman ran in from five yards and Turner posted a 9-yard QB keeper for a score, giving Salem a 61-24 cushion after three.

Turner added another rushing TD in the final frame, this one from a yard out, to boost the Hounds' lead to 67-24.

Augusta got one last score right before the final horn, setting the final score of 67-32, Salem, keeping the Greyhounds undefeated at Greyhound Stadium in 2011.



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