WILMINGTON — Getting off to a good start was likely one of the keys Salesianum had listed for their football game against Smyrna Oct. 29. But an early lead disappeared quickly as Smyrna overcame a driving rain and the Sals in a 28-7 win at Abessinio Stadium.
The Sals got to Eagles quarterback Cameron Edge as he dropped back to pass on the game’s first drive, knocking the ball loose from his hands. Salesianum recovered on the Smyrna 17-yard line just 92 seconds in.
#24S carried the ball seven yards on first down, and quarterback Conor Campbell went another eight yards to give the Sals first and goal at the Eagles’ 2. Campbell made quick work of the drive, scoring on a keeper out of the shotgun with 9:29 to go.
The Eagles began their next drive at their own 29 and got their high-powered offense going. Edge scrambled for nine yards on first down before Smyrna turned to their standout running back, Wayne Knight. He had several carries on the drive, including a 22-yard run on a direct snap on fourth and 8 that put the Eagles at the Sals’ 33.
Smyrna faced another fourth down a few plays later, this time needing 14 yards from the Sals’ 37. Edge threaded a pass to Devin Demoe along the sideline, and he went down at the 5. Two plays later, Knight scored from 3, and the two-point conversion – also run by Knight – gave Smyrna an 8-7 lead with 5:34 left in the first.
The Eagles tried an onside kick, but the Sals fell on the ball at their own 48. They were unable, however, to get any offense going against the powerful Eagles defense.
Salesianum’s defense forced the Eagles to punt, and the home team took over at their own 8 with 32 seconds to go in the first. The Sals fumbled on first down, and Smyrna took over at the Sals’ 12. It took a few plays, but Knight eventually picked up another 3-yard score in the first minute of the second half. The two-point conversion was not successful, and the score was 14-7. It remained that way into halftime.
The Eagles stopped the Salesianum offense as the second half began with the rain still falling, forcing a 57-yard Aidan Montgomery punt that was covered at the Smyrna 10. Knight took the spotlight again, and it took just one play. Edge dropped back and flipped a screen pass to Knight, and he outraced the defense to the end zone 90 yards away. After another Knight two-point conversion, the score was 22-7 with 9:33 left in the third.
The next Sallies drive also ended with a punt, and the Eagles began their final scoring drive of the evening. It consisted primarily of Knight rushes and Demoe catches. On third and 1 from the Salesianum 14, Edge hit Demoe in the back of the end zone with a fade pass that just eluded a Sals defender. The conversion was no good, and the Eagles had a 21-point lead with 3:53 remaining in the third.
Smyrna improved to 6-2 and will host Appoquinimink next Friday at 7 p.m., while the Sals (5-2) travel to Dover on the same date and time to meet the Senators.