SMYRNA – Fifth-ranked Salesianum scored 28 points off five Smyrna turnovers to defeat the 10th-ranked Eagles, 35-16, on a rainy Nov. 2 night.
After the initial Eagles drive fizzled after three plays, Kevin Faries returned the punt 52 yards to give the Sals a quick 7-0 lead. The Sals recovered a fumble on the Eagles’ next possession at the Smyrna 44. A strong ground game keyed a 10-play drive that ended with a one-yard Andrew Watkins score.
Salesianum punted on the first play of the second quarter, and Smyrna recovered the ball at its own 21 after the ball hit one of their players. They moved the ball behind the running of freshman Wayne Knight and finally got on the board on a big play. Devin Smith caught a screen pass from Aidan Sanchez and broke through two Sals defenders for a 43-yard score. The two-point conversion cut the lead to 14-8.
The Eagles forced a three and out, then went 60 yards in 12 plays. Knight led the team in the earthquake formation, taking the snaps from center and scoring on a 5-yard run. Another two-point conversion gave Smyrna a 16-14 lead. Salesianum missed a field goal as time expired in the half.
The Sals were unable to score on their first three drives of the second half, turning it over on downs once, muffing a snap on a field-goal attempt, then punting. The punt, however, hit a Smyrna player, and Salesianum recovered at the Eagles’ 10. Watkins scored on the next play and added the two points to put his team back up, 22-16.
The next Smyrna drive ended with another turnover, with Matt Scott picking up a fumble and returning it 40 yards for the touchdown. Salesianum forced one more Eagles turnover, the chewed up the clock while marching 58 yards. Watkins took the final play 12 yards to give the Sals a 35-16 advantage with less than two minutes to go.
The Sals finish the regular season at home next Friday against St. Mark’s next Friday at 7:30 pm. The Eagles (2-6) host Polytech the same night at 7.