Wk 14 RNK 2022 Salem @ Louisa County BONUS GAME Week 13 4A Region D Championship

Wk 14 RNK 2022 Salem @ Louisa County BONUS GAME Week 13 4A Region D Championship 451 333 SWVA High School Sports

Round 2 – Division 4 Region D Semifinals

Salem’s offense unstoppable as the Spartans beat previously undefeated Louisa County 54-37 on the road

Mark L. Fischer Field, Mineral, VA- Louisa County calls it’s field ‘the Jungle,’ and you could really say that sums up the whole experience. And it didn’t disappoint Friday in the much anticipated 4A Region D semifinal game. If you like a jumbo-tron scoreboard, skydivers delivering the game ball, and fireworks throughout, this was your game. Coach Don Holter’s visiting Salem Spartans paid little attention to all the fanfare and provided fireworks themselves scoring on six of seven possessions in the first half. “That’s a heckuva a football team over there (Louisa County). It shows how far we’ve come,” remarked Salem Coach Don Holter.
That offensive prowess put Salem up 39-13 at the break. That proved to be too steep a hill to climb for the Lions in the second half, although Louisa never waved the white flay. They pulled to within ten points twice in the second half, but the Spartan’s offense was clicking on all cylinders. “Credit to the Mules (Salem’s offensive line) and the kids I have the opportunity to coach. We believe in what we do and how we do it – running the football, playing physical, and doing the little things right. It’s who we are, and we are proud of that… it’s our identity,” continued Holter.
Salem took the opening kickoff and marched 58 yards for games first points. Louisa chose to kick it short all night rather than give Salem RB/LB 2 Peyton Lewis, last year’s D4, 55 meter state champion in track & field, a chance to break a long one. Salem used up nearly half the first quarter with the 12-play drive mixing four runs and eight passes culminating in an 11-yard TD pass from QB 10 Daron Wilson to TE 80 Ryan Coe at the 6:36 mark for a 7-0 lead with K 20 Wesley Cross’s point after. Wilson led the Spartan offense masterfully and finished 9/15, 119 yards and 3 TDs passing. Louisa answered in a dramatic and immediate way. Freshman sensation, RB/DB 5 Savion Hiter brought the kick back 87-yards to notch the game a 7 apiece. The Lions talent wasn’t lost on Coach Holter, “We come marching the ball down the field (and score) and then we turn around and hey, they are not going to lay down for you. Coach Patrick and his gang are some tough dudes, and they return the kickoff (for a touchdown) so they tell us exactly what they think about that (our first) touchdown. You’re going to have to play for four quarters to beat us, and that’s exactly what happened.”
The Spartans recoiled with another patented drive. This time Lewis showed off his chops with a 47-yard run around the right end and in front of the Salem faithful. The PAT missed wide making it 13-7 with 5:41 left in the quarter. Salem’s defense forced a Lion punt, and the Spartans were at the wheel again. This time Wilson hit Lewis on a wheel route out of the backfield for a 25-yard strike, and a 19-7 lead, with the 2 point pass falling incomplete. Louisa answered again with Hiter on a 46-yard run. The Freshman’s speed was evident as well on the night. Hiter finished the night with 95 yards on 13 carries as well as the kickoff return for a TD.
For the balance of the half, the Spartan defense kept Louisa bottled up while the Salem offense continued on it’s torrid pace. Salem scored three more times before the break – a yard out by FB 21 Jayveon Jones, an 8-yard TD pass to TE/LB 7 Jaelyn Allen, and a two yard TD run by Lewis with 1:47 left until halftime. Of the three, Allen’s TD catch was made possible by a mistake gone well for Salem. Facing a 4th and 5 at the Lions eighteen, Salem lined up for a field goal. But when the snap was bobbled by Wilson he scrambled and hit K 20 Cross at around the ten. The Sophomore advance the ball to the three, leading up to the TD pass. Sometimes bad turns good. Salem led 39-13 half way through this one.
Louisa came out determined to get back into the game at the beginning of the second half. The Lions marched 71-yards to make it 37-21 with Senior QB 1 Landon Johnson taking it in from the eight and following that up with a 2 point run. Both teams were forced into punts after that before Louisa struck again to make it 39-29. This time TE/LB 8 Cam Hawkins was on the receiving end of a Johnson pass from 24-yards out. Again a Lions 2 pointer drew the home team closer with 4:16 still left in the third. Holter was a bit miffed at his team’s second half start, “I was proud of our kids, but a little disappointed (when) we came out in that (second) half, lost a little focus and maybe the intensity level went down, you know we are up three and a half scores, and in that situation in this environment, this time of year, you have to play for four quarters…like it’s 0-0 on the scoreboard. We played well enough to win and I am proud of them for that.” The Salem offense clocked back in again after that. Jayveon Jones, Salem’s fullback and a key to their success, bulled his way in from three yards out with :49 seconds left in the quarter. Salem had driven the ball 65-yards mostly on the ground. Lewis, who led all ball carries with 182 yards on 18 carries, scored twice on the ground and once through the air, took the ball 39-yards to the six to get Salem back on track. Louisa scored again with 10:22 left in the game as they got their other talented Freshman, WR/DB 2 Dyzier Carter, into the flow with a 13-yard TD reception. TE/LB 15 Austin Talley made it a 10 point game again with a two point run up the middle. Lewis erased that margin with another TD run, this time from the nineteen, to get us to our final, 54-37.
Salem’s defense was key to the win. The Spartans were led by LB 80 Ryan Coe with 8 tackles, LB 7 Jaelyn Allen and DB 22 Josiah Persinger had 7, while LB 9 Chris Cole and DB’s 3 Chris Martin, and 4 Jonathan Vernon had 6. Another Spartan really showing up was LB 18 Julian Warme with 5 stops and a TFL.
Holter wrapped this one up with a bow, “Proud of young men’s effort. We were able to establish the run. Coach Pitts did a good job calling plays and mixing it up. We ran some good routes and were able to establish the perimeter.” Cap’n Crunch

Check back here for more of this story including game stats

Back to top