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Salesianum impresses on both sides of ball in football opener at Concord


Dialog reporter


BRANDYWINE HUNDRED – Salesianum faced an early start in its season-opening football game Sept. 9 at Concord, but the hour didn’t seem to make a difference. The Sals came out and displayed a multi-pronged offense and a stout defense in a 34-6 win over the Raiders.

Sallies, ranked third in Division I by 302 Sports, set the tone on their first possession of the game. Jassiem Lynch returned the kickoff to the Salesianum 37-yard line, and the offense went to work under the guidance of senior quarterback Zach Gwynn. They marched down the field, converting a fourth down along the way. On a second-and-10 from the Raiders’ 37, Gwynn hit a leaping Logan Bushweller with a 34-yard pass, setting up a first and goal. Nick Merlino punched it in from two yards out for the 7-0 lead.

Salesianum quarterback Zach Gwynn drops back to pass against Concord. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

The Sals forced a Concord punt and took over on the Raiders’ 47. They wasted no time doubling their lead, as Gwynn hit a wide-open Lynch in stride on the first play of the drive for a touchdown.

The teams traded possessions the rest of the half, but neither could reach the end zone. Salesianum had was on the doorstep late in the second quarter, but penalties pushed them back to the Concord 37. The Raiders’ best chance came when senior Brandon Dennis intercepted a pass on the Concord 15 and returned it 82 yards to the Salesianum 3 in the last minute of the half.

Concord senior Grahm “Bam” Roberts was stopped on first and second downs, losing a combined three yards. The Sals did a superb job all game bottling up the Raiders’ all-stater. After an incomplete pass on third down, Concord faked a field goal, but Bushweller knocked the ball out of the hands of the intended receiver, Elijah Hall.

Salesianum held the Raiders after the second-half kickoff, taking over on downs at the Concord 39. They kept the ball on the ground, with senior Carson Salvo taking the lead role. He carried the ball four times in the five-play drive, including the last one, a 17-yard sprint up the middle for a touchdown.

The Sals’ defense did a good job stopping Concord’s standout running back Grahm “Bam” Roberts. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

Gwynn added his second scoring pass of the game late in the third as he found Ryan Bryson with a 23-yard strike. Salvo added the icing on the cake with his second touchdown in the fourth. This time, he went 71 yards untouched up the left side.

Salvo finished with 139 yards and the two scores, while Gwynn threw for 157 yards. The Sals (1-0) will travel to Sussex Tech on Friday for a 7 p.m. start.

Concord (0-1) remains home for its next contest, a Saturday date with Newark. Start time is 10:30 a.m.

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