Saturday, September 25, 2004
Spartans hammer Northside
Salem's defense doesn't allow the Vikings past the 50 until the last play of the game.
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Hitting in practice? Who needs that?
Obviously not Salem.
The Spartans took a much-needed break from contact during this week's drills, then splattered their pent-up aggression all over visiting Northside in a 50-0 victory in front of a large crowd at Salem Stadium.
After a physical win over William Byrd on Monday, Salem coach Stephen Magenbauer chose to give the defense time to heal during the short week of preparation. The Spartans (4-0) responded by not allowing the Vikings (0-4) to cross midfield until the final play of the game.
"We came out feeling really fresh, so I guess it helped," said Salem middle linebacker Jonas Rawlins, part of a defense that yielded just 128 yards and five first downs. "Our linebackers were filling good today and our linemen took care of their gaps. We had a good game."
So did Salem quarterback Matt Shawver, who is statistically the most accurate passer in Timesland. Shawver completed 10 of 14 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns in a final tune-up before next Friday's showdown at William Fleming.
"Our biggest worry was that people were going to look past Northside and they were going to creep up on us," said Shawver, who has completed 71 percent of his throws this season. "Last year we were supposed to beat them by a lot and they hung tough - they were actually leading us at halftime. We didn't want that to happen again. We couldn't take anything lightly."
Shawver hit senior wideout Bryan Webb twice for touchdowns, then hooked up with D'Juan Smith for a 68-yard score in the third quarter.
That helped off-set a somewhat sluggish running attack that is still missing standout Andre Hairston. Hairston sat out for the second straight game with an ankle sprain but said he hopes to return next week.
Northside continues to seek any kind of offensive rhythm. The Vikings lost three fumbles and committed six penalties for 67 yards.
"We just need all 11 players doing their job, plain and simple," Northside lineman Sergio Jones said. "That's about all you can ask for. If things don't go right that way, you've just got to keep fighting."
Coach Jim Hickam, just two years removed from a 10-1 season, said he still sees the fight in his team even though it is often outmanned.
"I believe in them," Hickam said. "I hope they believe in themselves. I think we'll get better and pull it together and take the next step."
Meanwhile, Timesland's top-ranked team can take a big step toward a playoff berth with a win over the fourth-ranked Colonels next week.
"It's big," Webb said. "We're ready to play them. We've always been ready to play them."
Northside 0 0 0 0 - 0
Salem14 7 16 13 - 50
S-Daniels 30 run (Hall kick)
S-Webb 18 pass from Shawver (Hall kick)
S-Smith 1 run (Hall kick)
S-Webb 40 pass from Shawver (Hall kick)
S-Smith 68 pass from Shawver (kick failed)
S-Hall 22 FG
S-Chaney 68 run (kick failed)
S-N. Spradlin 12 fumble return (Hall kick)
First downs 5 11
Yards rushing 128 152
Passes C-A-I 0-7-0 10-14-0
Yards passing 0 212
Penalties-yards 6-67 4-36
Fumbles-lost 3-3 1-0
Punts-average 7-35 2-44
RUSHING - Northside, Hobson 5-40, Dill 14-34, Fleming 7-23, Llamas 6-16, VanMarter 8-9, Massey 2-6; Salem, Chaney 3-69, Daniels 9-58, Shawver 4-14, Smith 8-7, Turk 2-4, Hanabury 1-2, Pickle 1-(-2).
PASSING - Northside, VanMarter 0-7-0-0; Salem, Shawver 10-14-0-212.
RECEIVING - Salem, Webb 4-82, Smith 1-68, T. Spradlin 2-19, Turk 1-17, Daniels 1-14, Hanabury 1-12.