For The Dialog
WILMIMNGTON – Salesianum scored early and often in a showdown with Smyrna on Friday night, but the Sals could not put the Eagles away until the fourth quarter in a 76-56 win at Baynard Stadium. Senior running back Colby Reeder was the offensive star on a night full of offense as he rushed for 394 yards on 34 carries and scored seven touchdowns.
Reeder got the scoring started, appropriately, on the opening drive, reaching the end zone on a seven-yard run. Reeder played some defense as well, intercepting a pass on Smyrna’s first play from scrimmage. That set up his own 25-yard touchdown run, increasing the lead to 14-0 in front of a full house at Baynard. Reeder scored the next Salesianum TD as well, as the home team went up, 21-0.
The Eagles (2-1) began their comeback with an eight-yard run by Will Knight, and the two-point conversion made it 21-8. Smyrna’s defense asserted itself on the next possession, as it stopped Reeder at the Eagles’ 1-yard line on a fourth and goal. The Eagles then drove 99 yards, the last 57 coming on a screen pass from quarterback Nolan Richardson to Knight. Smyrna only attempted two-point conversions all night, and this one was successful to cut the Sals’ lead to 21-16.
Salesianum quarterback Garrett Cannon got in on the scoring action in the second quarter, hitting tight end Kyle Cathers for a 15-yard touchdown. The offense continued throughout the quarter, and at the half, Salesianum led, 35-30.
Smyrna took its first lead after the half when Richardson hit Donte Richie with a screen pass. It ended up as an 89-yard scoring strike. Salesianum responded immediately as Jeremy Ryan caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Cannon on a fourth-and-two play.
Richardson found the end zone on a 68-yard run, but two plays later Reeder found paydirt for the fourth time. In fact, Reeder was the offense on that series, running for 56 yards on the first play and capping the short drive with a two-yard plunge. The Sals led, 49-42,, after three.
Salesianum (3-0) was able to stop the Eagles on their first three possessions of the fourth quarter, once by causing a fumble and the second time by forcing the Eagles’ first punt. The Sals’ Payton Mullin scored on a 15-yard run, increasing the lead to 55-42. Smyrna turned it over on downs, leading to a 31-yard touchdown run by Reeder. The teams combined for four more touchdowns, including two more for Reeder.
The win was the 250th of Salesianum coach Bill DiNardo’s career, 101 of which have come at Sallies. The Sals travel to Philadelphia next Saturday to meet Father Judge at Northeast High School at 7 p.m., while Smyrna is at Dover Friday at 7 p.m.