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Greyhound thump McCrory 40-6

Thursday, October 18, 2012

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The 7-0 Salem Greyhounds have done it again; this time taking what looked like a competitive game and turning it into a 40-6 blowout against the McCrory Jaguars.

The Jaguars came into the game with a record of 3-2-1 and received the opening kickoff. Its first possession started from its 35 yard line, after a short kickoff by junior quarterback Dillon Turner. The stout Greyhounds defense forced the Jags to go three and out, and the Hounds got the ball on their own 28 yard line with just over 10 minutes left in the first quarter.

As the Hounds marched down the field, a pass from Turner to senior tight end Marcus Cagel got the crowd involved, but Cagel was pushed out of bounds at the two yard line. His efforts weren't wasted, as senior running back Nathan King ran the ball into the end zone on the next play. The first of five successful two point conversions would make the score 8-0.

A second unsuccessful drive by the Jaguars gave Salem the ball back with six minutes left in the quarter from their own 22 yard line. The Hounds ate up nearly five minutes before King got into the end zone again, to make the score 16-0.

Things were looking bad for McCrory when Salem recovered an onside kick, but McCrory's defense was able to force a turnover on downs after an incomplete pass from Turner on fourth and 11.

The Jaguars took over on their own 45 yard line. At the end of the first quarter, McCrory had the ball at the 46 yard line, down 16-0.

On the first play of the second quarter, a 46 yard touchdown run got McCrory on the scoreboard. A failed two point conversion left the score at 16-6. Salem then turned the ball over on downs to give McCrory even more momentum.

The Jaguars took possession from their own 38 yard line, and looked ready to put more points on the board but, with just under five minutes left in the first half, Salem's defense forced a punt to get the ball back.

With 1:31 left in the half, McCrory pinned the Hounds deep in their own territory but a punt, that was thought to be downed at the eight yard line, was eventually ruled a touchback, giving Salem the ball at its own 20 yard line.

Two plays later, Turner tossed a bullet toward the sideline, and Cagel made a diving grab with one hand to convert on a third and ten. With 16 seconds left in the half, Turner looked to throw a Hail Mary, but, under pressure by the Jag's defense, he scrambled and threw the ball away. On the last play of the half, King, who played quarterback on the last drive of Salem's win versus Cedar Ridge, lined up at wide receiver. While running what appeared to be an end around, he received a toss in the backfield and was preparing to pass when he was sacked. The half ended 16-6.

The first half may have been competitive, but the second half belonged to the Hounds, and it started on the first drive of the third quarter.

On the first play, senior Augustus Freeman took a handoff and ran 48 yards. A few plays later, Turner threw his second touchdown pass of the game to Heath Goodman to put the Hounds up 24-6.

After a Jaguars three and out, senior J.J. Gray broke loose from the defense and ran 54 yards down field before being dragged down by the back of his shoulder pads, which was called for a horse collar penalty. That moved the ball to the four yard line, but a fumble kept the Hounds out of the end zone..

McCrory would return the favor and fumble on their own 37 yard line, to give Salem the ball back with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. By the end of the quarter, Salem was in scoring range again, with the ball on the 6 yard line, leading 24-6 as the third quarter ended.

Gray would get into the end zone for his first rushing touchdown of the game on the next play. Turner finished the scoring with 5:12 left in the game when he hit Blake Hensley for a touchdown pass.

Salem's first year head coach Cody Curtis said his team played well, as it moved to 7-0, but he was already focusing on next week.

"[We played] outstanding. We've never beaten McCrory in high school football," Curtis said. "We have a statement we're trying to make -- and that is, we're here, and we're for real. We got the three big teams in a row. We just knocked down one, we got Walnut Ridge next week. They're probably the best team in the conference. [East Poinsett County] beat them. Walnut Ridge had them beat in the end, but couldn't close the game out. They are the best team in the conference."

"Our guys have to have confidence. We could've had our heads down when that guy ran it [46] yards or whatever. But that guy had 3,200 yards last season alone, he's a great back. I didn't care if he had 400 yards tonight, if he didn't score, and he only scored once, so that's all that mattered to us, our defense played great," Curtis said.

Salem's undefeated season will be on the line next week when the 6-1 Walnut Ridge Bobcats come to town.



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