What makes this latest win so one-sided is not the score alone, but also the fact that the Salem defense didn't give up a single first down all game; the only first downs for Cedar Ridge were because of two Greyhounds penalties early in the game.
The rainy field at Cedar Ridge should've given the slow paced, run heavy offense of the Timberwolves a slight advantage over the fast paced -- put up a lot of points Salem offense. Instead it made for an even more miserable evening for the Wolves.
A malfunctioning scoreboard did not display a game clock or play-clock throughout the game. Surprisingly, only one false start penalty was called all game.
The Timberwolves took the opening kickoff on their own 34 and were able to draw the Hounds defense offside for the first down on a third and four. Three plays later, Cedar Ridge failed a fourth down, fake punt attempt to give Salem the ball.
Senior running back J.J. Gray didn't waste any time and picked up a 20-yard run on Salem's first offensive play. Gray picked up nine more yards on the second play of the drive. Senior Augustus Freeman took a handoff for six yards on the third play, and got the first down. Another run by Gray got the ball to the 12-yard line. Freeman took the ball into the end zone on the next play. A successful point after attempt by Layne Kirkland made the score 7-0.
Gray accounted for 36 yards on the Greyhounds' opening drive. He would finish the night with 15 runs for 127 yards. Freeman picked up the other 18 yards on the drive and finished with seven carries for 62 yards. Both men would get one rushing touchdown against the Timberwolves.
Cedar Ridge's second drive started from their own 32-yard line but were forced to punt after three plays, the first of many punts for the Timberwolves. After a botched kick, the Greyhounds took over at the 39.
The first play of the second drive for the Hounds would be junior quarterback Dillon Turner's first pass attempt of the game, it was also Turner's first incompletion of the game. A few plays later Turner ended the drive with a pass. This pass would have a better result thought, as Heath Goodman came down with a two yard touchdown catch.Despite the touchdown, Turner's passing game was off all game long, and finished three of seven for 25 yards and one touchdown.
After a missed extra point attempt the Greyhounds were up 13-0. The first quarter ended with the same score.
A fumbled snap by the Timberwolves on third-and-five took away any chance of going for it on fourth down, so Cedar Ridge was forced to punt on fourth and seven.
Salem took the ball on the 47 yard line and had a bit more opposition while trying to score. The Hounds faced third-and-12 and an incomplete pass made it fourth and 12. Senior tight end Marcus Cagel then caught a screen pass and took it 13 yards to keep the drive alive. A couple plays later, Turner ran the ball in from 19 yards out to put the Hounds up 21-0 after a successful two point conversion.
About half-way through the second quarter, things started to pour on Cedar Ridge. The rain picked up for the first time since the afternoon and the Greyhound's lead just kept growing. After forcing another three and out, the Hounds took the ball from their own 20. Nine plays later J.J. Gray was in the end zone on a one yard touchdown run. Kirkland then slipped on the extra point attempt to make the score 27-0.
The second quarter ended after two Cedar Ridge plays, with the score 27-0.
Salem's offense picked up where it left off when it received the second half kick, and after eight plays Blake Hensley had made the score was 33-0. The next play Hensley again was the reason for a touchdown. On Cedar Ridge's first offensive play of the second half, Hensley laid out Cedar Ridge's quarterback and forced a fumble. Senior David Tarpley picked up the fumble and ran the ball into the end zone for the first defensive touchdown of the season for the Hounds.
Salem added another touchdown to make the score 39-0 at the end of the third quarter. Due to the "mercy rule," if a team is up by 35 points or more, the clock runs for the remainder of the second half.
Due to the running clock, Salem was able to eat up nearly all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter in one drive. Turner didn't play the final drive of the game, instead senior Nathan King ran the offense in an almost wildcat set, due to King's speed and running ability.
On the first play of the drive Freeman burst through the defense and charged downfield for a 72-yard touchdown run, but a block in the back negated the touchdown and play resumed from their own 45. The Hounds eventually scored on an eight yard touchdown run by King and the game was called after two plays of the next Cedar Ridge drive.
The 6-0 Greyhounds should have a bigger challenge this week against the perennial top conference contender McCrory. The Jaguars are 3-2-1 this season, but have already played the 6-0 East Poinsett County Warriors and the 4-1 Walnut Ridge Bobcats (who have only lost to EPC).